Title: The Outsiders
Author: S.E Hinton
Publisher: Penguin Random House LLC
The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser
I can’t stress how much I love this book. This is the sort of novel that takes you into another universe and you completely lose track that you’re reading (I read this in a day and just couldn’t put it down!). As a reader you immediately feel an immense amount of pathos for the ‘greasers’ and fall in love with each character. S.E Hinton shows the injustice of prejudices and stereotypes that burden on lower class individuals but also shows that the competing gangs, Socs (short for society) and greasers, share loyalty and compassion within their groups. The moral message is if society focused on similarities in one another rather than differences, everyone would get along better.
It shows the struggles that all of them suffer in, like domestic abuse, poverty, sleeping rough and being a young carer, or from the Soc’s point of view, having too much responsibility, stress and pressure. The brotherly love of Sodapop, Ponyboy and Darry makes my heart melt, as well as the protection over one another in the gang, it is honestly the nicest thing to read and made me smile stupidly (maybe a tear or two). The treatment they got for simply being poor as well as the unfortunate consequences of constant misery and abuse, like death, crime and disputes, was eye-opening. Due to the fact they consider themselves as ‘outsiders’, they accepted their oppression in society and fighting was the only way they could retaliate, it takes characters like Ponyboy, Johnny and Randy to leave the vicious cycle of violence against each other. Together they realise “[they] saw the same sunset” and that the ‘greasers’ and the ‘Socs’ are just people and they disregard labels put on them.
If you haven’t read the novel yet, get to it! It has an amazing moral. Every page you flick through makes you think and feel, until the last turn and you don’t want it to be over.
If you’re interested in buying the book ‘The Outsiders’ by S.E Hinton, you can click the link here!