This is a quick book summary and analysis of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This channel discusses and reviews books, novels, and short stories through drawing...poorly.
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This is a story about three brothers who live with each other after their parents were killed in an accident. Darry is the oldest and works as a roofer. Sodapop is the middle child who is handsome and works at a gas station. And Ponyboy is the youngest, a smart kid trying to grow up.
The town they live in is socially divided in two. The greasers are the poor kids who wear leather jackets and oil their hair. The socials, or Socs, are the rich kids who have nice cars and clothes. These two groups are constantly fighting.
The three brothers are greasers and hang out with some of the greasers in the city. Dallas is a wild New Yorker who hates authority and Johnny is a quiet kid who gets beat by his father.
After meeting a couple of Soc girls, Ponyboy and Johnny get attacked by a group of socs. Ponyboy is about to die in the fight, but Johnny stabs one of the socs and the rest run. In a panic, Ponyboy and Johnny run to the country and hide.
Ponyboy and Johnny stay at an abandoned church in the countryside until Dallas comes to get them. However, the church they were staying at catches on fire and some of the local kids are trapped in the building. Ponyboy and Johnny go into the burning building and rescue them, but both are hurt. They are admitted to a hospital, where they are declared heroes.
Meanwhile, the socs and greasers are planning a big rumble to settling things. Both gangs line up and fight each other. The greasers win.
However, Johnny dies from his injuries from the fire and Dallas gets himself shot by the police.
Ponyboy is acquitted of all charges for the slaying of the one soc and the three brothers grow closer together.
The underlying theme of social class and the division that social classes create is important. This isn't quite the Capulet and Montague setup we get in Romeo and Juliet, but it's something more relatable to contemporary readers.
Money does divide people. Poor people tend to live in a certain part of an area, while the rich people live in another.
The story tries to present the troubled relationship between Ponyboy and Darry as the central conflict, that these two brothers hate each other. However, readers will find that his conflict with Darry is weak and forced.
Rather, Ponyboy's realization that both greasers and socs are just regular people is noteworthy. This is something that all readers can take away, no matter what age.
Society likes to classify who we are and compartmentalizes us into categories and groups. And while those groups may be important in economic and census studies, the people in those groups become identity-less.
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