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Analysis Of The Book ' The Outsiders '

The Outsiders is a story regarding the privation and accomplishments experienced by the Greasers and the Socs, two rival gangs living in the inner city in the early 1960’s. The novel The Outsiders is about two groups of teenagers of bitter rivalry which was due to socio-economic differences.The Outsiders takes us through a journey of violence, struggle and death. It examines the life of a recently orphaned young man born into poverty confronted with the prejudices that he could not change. 

The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his conflicts between the lower and the upper class youths and struggles and with the right and wrong in a society in which he considers himself an outsider. The society is divided in two groups Greasers and Socs, ‘Greasers’ are those who are from East side and belongs to a poor section of the society and ‘Socs’ a short word for society used in the novel, means those who are from West side and belongs to a richer section of a society.

 The greasers and Socs also have somethings in common like Cherry Valance, a member of Socs, and Ponyboy Curtis, a geaser discuss their love for literature, for popular music, and sunsets. A view of honorable action appears throughout the novel, which works as an important element of the geasers behavioral code.

Members of the Greasers group: Ponyboy Curtis, Sodapop Curtis, Darrel Curtis, Dallas Winston, Keith Mathews, Steve Randle, Johnny Cade
Members of the Socs: Sherri Valance, Robert Sheldon, Randy Sheldon, Randy Adderson, David, Paul
In the book it is shown how young boys struggles hard to survive in a world filled with crime, violence and poverty. Throughout the novel, we learn about Ponyboy’s violent interactions with Socs and how these conflicts of being associated with a gand change his life forever.

“Society and class” a theme in The Outsiders
Society and class describes the different ‘layers’ that exist in society. These ‘layers,’ or classes in society, are those divisions that civilization has been running on ever since the beginning of mankind. “ Society and class” is one of the most significant problem in the world. 

In the novel author had made very clear that Socs are the rich kids from west, who owns cars, wear expensive clothes and have short hairs and use their parents money for all leisure, while Greasers are those who live in east section of town . who works for living, wear cheap t-shirts and jeans, gave long hairs. 

This is how author have depicted rich class and poor society thoughts in the novel. The rich kids; Socs, who depends on their parent’s wealth and the poor kids greasers have fewer resources to use and also the greasers shown in the novel, Ponyboy’s parents are killed in an accident, though it was more difficult for them. Class variation and therefore the stereotypes society have placed on the both gangs what really ignited the fire of enimity for each other.

In today’s society, society and class both are typically influenced by one’s background and wealth. This usually determines the success or failure in humans lives. If someone is brought up in a family of wealth, they have many more opportunities compared to someone brought up in poverty. 

In The Outsiders, the Socs are given a greater opportunity to succeed because of their backgroundAs society and class is the an important theme in the book. The Greasers and Socs are divided by their wealth status, social class and opportunities to succeed. Although in the starting of the novel both the gangs Greasers and Socs hate each other, but they begin to realise they are not that much different and have so many similarities. The author S.E. Hinton gave readers a message through this book that wealth, education, money, social class doesnot define who we really are. 

Throughout the book, the Greasers and Socs are constantly fighting, insulting each other. During their continous rumbles and the way speak or talk to each other 
“You know what a greaser is?" Bob asked. "White trash with long hair” (Hinton, 48)
This conversation of Bob means that he is concluding the Greasers by their looks or we can say by their appearance. 

We get to undrstand that Bob belives this because this was taught to him by his parents. They understand others by their level of wealth and the way how they look 
“That 's why people don 't ever think to blame the Socs and are always ready to jump on us. We look hoody and they look decent. It could be just the other way around--- half of the hoods I know are pretty decent guys underneath all that grease, and from what I 've heard, a lot of Socs are just cold-blooded mean- but people usually go by looks” (Hinton,120)

In these lines their lies a message given by author wants us to get understand and relate it our own life that one cannot judge someone by his or her look or by how much wealth he or she conain, or to which society they belong to. 

Another notable division between Greasers and Socs is the social ranking. The Socs; the rich’s, are known as an asset to the society as they are wealth, lots of money and contribute to the economy whereas Greasers are considered as burden to the society because of their poverty, lack of money etc.. and Greasers are also considered as trouble creating persons, but the reality is that they are not that actually that much bad, may be some are bad but not all. 

Expecting the greasers a trouble makering criminals which they become have become is because no one understood them. Here lies the question why people doesn’t understand them ? The answer is that people always considers them as a poor class, they don’t know the reason what is the reason behind their poverty, people judge them by their dressing style or by their talking style or by their hair cuts, here lies the problem of society and class.Even one doesnot want to help these Greasers out of trouble they have gotten themselves into. May be many of the Greasers also have good intentions. 
“Greaser... greaser... greaser... Steve singsonged. "O victim of environment, underprivileged, rotten, no-count hood!”(Hinton, 116). 

In these lines Socs were laughing on the Greasers and were making fun of them, it was because Socs belong to a high class society and so they were making fun of them, in real life when high class people and low class people both stand infront of each other they will not see into each other’s eyes, because of the socities or the so-called class they belong. 

The Socs are different to the Greasers because they have more opportunities to get succeeded because of their economic ranking. Although Dally was intelligent enough to get admission in College, but he was unable to attend because of the lack of money. This shows us that although Dally worked very hard he wasn’t able to get a good job and as a result of that, he turned to a life of crime. 

“But we just didn 't have the money for him to go to college, even with the athletic scholarship he won. And now he didn 't have time between jobs to even think about college” (Hinton, 15)

Ponyboy finds it unfair that the Socs have everything handed to them. He is determined to achieve the success and make a good life for himself and for the family. The author intended readers to understand that although success may come easily for those who are more fortunate, but poor people can still achieve and become just as successful as the others who are fortunate. This can be linked to real life in many ways, success comes from hard work and determination, qualities which anybody can possess. 

Self worth can also be incorporated into the opportunity to succeed. Because the Greasers came from such a low level of society, they might have felt their self worth was not as high as someone higher on the social ladder. There are many different principles by which self-worthiness is judged, but in The Outsiders I feel it is based mainly on the stereotyping and discriminations of the opposite groups.

 While the Socs were the upper class of society, they were stereotyped as superior kids with good futures in store for them. The Greasers, on the other hand, were discriminated against, seen rather as the scum of the neighborhood, with little or no futures ahead of them. 

This results in a lack of self-esteem and sense of personal efficacy, and also a downward fall in their overall satisfaction and happiness with life. Sometimes it seems that people of the higher social class have everything superior, and they people lower on the social ladder are stuck in an endless cycle positive outlook in sight. 

But this is not always the case. There is always the vision of social mobility, which occurs whenever people move across social class boundaries, or from one occupational level to another. Throughout time, a person’s position in society has been based on their social background, race, or wealth. With the social mobility outlook, a person’s position in society is emphasized more on achievement and what a person is capable of then the characteristics that they are unable to change.

In chapter 7, 
“Greasers will still be Greasers and Socs will still be Socs. Sometimes I think it’s the ones in the middle that are really the lucky stiffs” (Hinton, 125). By stating that the members of both groups will always remain in their personal social classes, it suggests that it would be impossible for a Greaser or a Soc to shift their current status on the social ladder. In this belief, it appears that because their position in society is being based on their attributed characteristics, there is no chance that they will rise above the stereotyping and discriminations of their gang identities.

In my personal experiences, I feel that even in modern times there is no chance of social mobility. Because social status affects behavior, values, and lifestyle, the different classes are aware of their privileges in their current position. People of the upper class know that they are looked upon for their elegant and refined lifestyle, and therefore try to maintain that same behavior. 

For instance, people of the higher class will always wear the name brand clothing, drive the expensive, luxurious cars, and try to show off their wealth. This is mainly because in order to achieve these high-class possessions, one needs a higher level of education and training. For people to want to work hard, they must see that they will be rewarded in society. 

Therefore the rich tend to show off their lavish wealth and assets in order to show society how hard they have worked to attain them. On the other hand, people of the lower social class are looked down upon for their grubby lifestyles, and feel that there is no escape from it. While it is stereotypical to make such a statement, it can be affirmed by the fact that because many lower class members live in poverty, they are more concerned with immediate needs rather than long-term goals.

High class or low class, people are people and everyone is the same. Society groups people into classes, but how does society group us today? Classes affect people today just as they do in The Outsiders. For example, in movies, or even in schools, society groups people too. Maybe they are the popular kids, the nerds, the band geeks. 

People are grouped everywhere. If someone can’t afford a luxury car, they’re automatically considered low class, because that’s how society makes it. In reality, who is the better class? Low or high? During their conversation, Randy the Soc shared his opinion with Ponyboy about classes, 
“Sometimes I think its the ones in the middle that are really the lucky stiffs…” (Hinton, pg. 117). Randy thinks that people who aren’t low or high class are the ones that are truly lucky. most likely because they don’t have to deal with proving that they are the better class, so they stay in the middle.

Society in The Outsiders groups the Socs and the Greasers as high and low
classes. But at the end of the day, do classes even matter? No, as Cherry said during
her conversation with Ponyboy, “Things are rough all over” (Hinton, pg. 35) 

This is a message to society. No matter if you belong to a low or high class, or a Soc or Greaser,
things will never be perfect. People will always be judged and people will always get into
trouble no matter what class society puts you in, high class or low class.

Class Discrimination
Hatredness between Greasers and the Socs for one another were due to the thoughts and ideas about class. Mainly in the United States, to be poor or rich is much more than just the bad luck of birth, they are moral classification. In the U.S, children are often educated to understand that moving up in class is not just possible, but is almost inevitable for anyone that work’s hard. 

So it 's easy to understand why the Socs may feel threatened by the Greasers as well as deserving their hatedness. The Soc 's guardians are those who take legal decisions and compose of most of the education structure while the Greasers are juvenile delinquents with no desire or hope in life beyond fighting and drinking. 

Very little thought is given to how the Greasers absence of prosperity combined with class discriminations against them complete their alliance in this category. We can also see that the consequences for law-breaking are far less severe for the Socs than they are for the Greasers. 

The law system is inclined to see Greasers as essentially bad and they deserves of cruel punishment. As for the Socs, the consequences for their delinquency are much lighter. The law system is more likely to see them as good boys who just made uncommon bad decisions so their penalties tend to be less severe. 

Because of upper class society Socs are encouraged more to be less outwardly emotional than the Greasers. Controlling one 's emotions signifies the potential to handle one 's self in other different situations of life, and the working class is usually described as a group missing self control. 

From the novel we can take Dally, a great example of this loss of self control. The Socs have more organization than the Greasers do in their lives. Both gangs have some thing in common, but when the Greasers were at the age of self-dependent, they have a very less aptitude to establish the way of their lives than do their better off counter parts.

“It’s okay… We aren’t in the same class. Just don’t forget that some of us watch the sunset too” (Hinton, 55). Here, Ponyboy is pointing out to a female member of the Socs that even though the two gangs have unequal lifestyles, behaviour, and monetary situations, but they still live in the same world under the same sun. 

By agreeing on this fact, they are taking a different outlook on life and bridging the gap between the social classes. I feel that even though social classes will almost undoubtedly exist in this world, there should not be such a general stereotyping for people of a different status. I also feel that even though a person’s social class sometimes defines their position in life, we all need to stop and realize that at the end of the day, we all live in the same world, under the same sun.

The subject-matter of society and class in this book is very noteworthy and central theme of the book. It divides the two social groups from each another in many ways. They may be divided through their wealth, social-economic status and opportunities or from where they comes from but deep down are very similar. We can relate this to our real life in many ways such as an act of racism and discrimination. 

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