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‘The Outsiders’ by S.E. Hinton’s Essay

In S.E. Hinton’s novel, ‘The Outsiders’ the Socs were more of a disgrace and menace to society than the Greasers because they knew that they were better off than the Greasers and they used that against them. The Socs could easily do something rebellious and blame it on the Greasers because the police saw them as a pest to society. They were seen as the menace of society, but is all that really true? Sure, they don’t look like the nicest people in town, but there is more to them than what meets the eye. One of the main reasons that Socs are a bigger disgrace to society than the Greasers is that they are often the protagonists in most fights. Some examples include during pages 66 to 68 when Randy, Bob and three other Socs invaded grease territory and assaulted them; they did this only because they were drunk, bored and Ponyboy & Johnny had been talking to their ex-girlfriends in a friendly manor.

Another situation was explained during pages 39 to 43 where the same gang assaulted Johnny for no reason except probably because they had the power to do it. My final example was at the start of the book on pages 5 and 6 were a group of five Socs assaulted Ponyboy and attempted to cut his hair without his permission, they probably would have if Ponyboy’s friends hadn’t showed up and scared the Socs away. None of these situations had legitimate reasons for starting a fight therefor making them more of a menace than the greasers. Another reason that Socs are a bigger disgrace to society is that the Greasers aren’t that bad themselves. For example, Ponyboy Curtis tries to act all tough but on the inside, but really he is a quiet guy who likes poetry and books.

Not like the Greasers the Socs portray them as. On the other hand, Johnny doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would kill someone, which he admitted to Ponyboy when he regained consciousness on page 45, but Johnny only did this in defense to save Ponyboy and himself from any more harm. Ponyboy and Johnny did not start this fight either, they were just hanging out at a park on the east side, when five Socs came and invaded their territory in a blue Mustang and seemed to be looking for a fight. They got Ponyboy and were drowning him in a fountain until he blacked out (pages 42 to 45). So it seems that if Johnny hadn’t of reacted the way he did, Ponyboy could have died. Either way one death was going to take place that night.

Another example was when the church went up in flames in chapter 6, one of the adults cries out that “…some of the kids are missing” pg. 87. Ponyboy could hear screaming from inside the church. Instinctively, Ponyboy and Johnny run into the burning church through one of the windows. They find a group of terrified children at the back of the church, huddling together. Ponyboy and Johnny lifted the children out of the window. Dally yells “…The roof gonna cave in any minute.”pg. 88 but still Ponyboy and Johnny stayed to make sure all the children were out first which in turn claims the life of another person, Johnny this time. My final reason why Socs are a bigger disgrace to society than greasers is that Socs only care for themselves. An example of this was when Bob got killed by Johnny.

Notice when Johnny was telling the story that even though Bob was the Socs friends, rather than stay and try to help out their own friend they bolted out of there to protect themselves before even considering anyone else. This shows that even if you are a friend of the Socs, each individual Soc will care about him/herself over you when things get serious. Another example wasn’t as direct, but when Ponyboy explains that “We’re a gang. We have to look out for each other for if we don’t, were nothing but a pack.” as well as making the Greasers look good, it indirectly shows that the Socs don’t go around in a gang. They go around in packs, which I think is worse than going around in a gang. My last example was when Randy had a talk with Ponyboy and he says “I’d have let those kids burn to death.” pg.109. This shows that if the Socs were put in that situation they probably wouldn’t have risked their lives for some little children they didn’t know, even if they might have been the ones who probably started the fire.

Some people might argue that the Greasers carry knives around with them at all times. Now although that is true, did you ever consider why they carry knifes around. It’s because of the Socs mainly and they only use it as an intimidation technique any way. This is unlike the Socs who use there knives as a technique of torture and pain as shown on pages 5 & 6 where they attacked Ponyboy. Another way some people might argue is that the Greasers are always fighting and hurting each other.

This is true as well, but Greasers do “fair fights” which are only fights with fists. The reason Greasers fight anyway is more of a stress reliever and/or a way to settle a situation. Either way that is the Greasers choice, if it doesn’t affect anyone else than there is no point arguing that. If you think about it, you will find that anything bad about Greasers can either be traced back to the Socs, or just a way that Greasers like to behave and don’t find it bad at all. To conclude; the Socs overall are just as bad, if not worse than the Greasers and they should probably be viewed as more of a menace to society by the public rather than “an asset to society” pg. 3.


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