The Outsiders Essay

1197 Words Apr 1st, 2011 5 Pages
?John McKenna
Mr. Cook
English III Honors
10 May 2008
Themes of “The Outsiders” In the novel “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, the protagonist Ponyboy struggles with many common problems that a teenager encounters. One of these problems is when he struggles with remaining loyal to the Greasers and living a moral life. The Greasers don’t have many morals except for looking out for each other, and that is how most of them lose their innocence. This is the problem that Ponyboy must deal with. He strives to maintain the Greasers’ tough reputation while desiring to protect the innocence he has left from childhood. They will often lie, cheat, steal, and kill in order to protect their brothers. Ponyboy somewhat objects to this principle
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This shows that although they come from different backgrounds, both groups have more in common than they think. It is also foolish to fight and bicker like they do, because they should be channeling their energy towards more positive things in life.

One of the main themes of the novel is maturing. Ponyboy goes through a lot of hardships in his life, and this makes him a wiser and more mature individual. Although the things he has to overcome make his life hard at that present time, they work out for the best in the long run. The deaths and arrests of multiple of Ponyboy’s friends make him realize that he can’t stay in a protective cocoon forever. Ponyboy’s older brother tells him that “you get tough like me and you don’t get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothing can touch you…” (Hinton 147) Although maturing is something that everyone has to go through in life, this also acts as a foil to Ponyboy attempting to remain innocent. Having to do things in order to protect the Greasers and to show his loyalty and maturity risk his chances of remaining innocent. Ponyboy has seen many of his friends fall short and he knows that he will have to accomplish multiple tasks that might not be morally correct in order to make it through the tough stages in his life. Part of being mature is establishing a personal identity to portray to other people. One of the symbols of

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