The Novel The Outsiders Written By S.E. Hinton Homework Essay Sample

When we are young, we are curious about life. We are nature’s first green. Young, carefree and worriless. We lived happily without stress. This is not an easy thing to keep. Those days slowly become harder to have as you get older. We have responsibilities and more worries. This same thing goes on in the novel The Outsiders written by S.E. Hinton, where one of the main themes is innocence. The definition is different than what you might think. For the characters, it is not just about what they have seen or done, it is how that changes them, and if they can still find positive aspects in the world. All of the boys have a different innocence because of the way they see the their life and the world around them, whether it is Ponyboy watching sunsets, Johnny still finding the little things that make him happy like reading, or Dally giving up on loving anything. Ponyboy is the narrator of the story, and tells his world through his own prospective.

He is much more innocent than many of the characters in the book because he is thankful for what he still has. As Ponyboy says in the novel “I’ll fight anyone anytime, but I don’t like to” which means he doesn’t like to fight and hates violence, but living where he does takes away innocence because violence is a part of life. He is not like the other boys in a way, because he said “I liked my books and clouds and sunsets” which are still things that make help you maintain your innocence. But for Pony, he still had traumatic experiences that made him lose innocence such as when “Mom and Dad were killed in an auto wreck”, Ponyboy had to grow up faster. He had to go through the feeling of loss which made him lose innocence, although he sees a positive in this because he didn’t lose his brothers. His brother Darry had to step up and take his father’s place and that meant the Ponyboy wouldn’t have the fun lighthearted Darry anymore. Overall, Ponyboy is less innocent than most of the characters in the book because he chooses to not follow the stereotypes of being a Greaser such as getting into fights. Another character who is similar to Ponyboy is Johnny. Johnny didn’t have a great home life and he wasn’t loved there, although he still managed to keep a little innocence. “If it hadn’t been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are.”

Johnny only maintains his innocence because of the gang. He doesn’t have a good home life and he is neglected and abused. He lost a lot of innocence because he doesn’t have a family to love and care for him one of his main sources of innocence is the gang. He also is selfless and he is not hardened like Dally. “That was the only time I can think of when I saw him without that defeated, suspicious look in his eyes. He looked like he was having the time of his life.” He decided to go into the fire instead of standing back like Dally and help the kids. This shows that he is up for adventure and cares about others. He knows that he doesn’t have a great future, so he decided to risk his own life to help kids who might have more of a chance. In conclusion, Johnny is somewhat innocent because he has the gang to love him and he cares about others, although he doesn’t have a good home life. Johnny is more similar to Dally than Ponyboy because of his family. Dally has hardened himself up and he lost all of his innocence in his hard life. Dally has had to harden up since a young age. “ Dally had spent three years on the wild side of New York and had been arrested at the age of ten”. He grew up in a rough neighborhood which made him have to toughen up at an early age so he didn’t get hurt. He never got the real affection of a father either, and the only people who love him is the gang.

The only innocence he had left came from the gang, and especially Johnny. ‘Dammit, Johnny…’ he begged, slamming one fist against the wall, hammering it to make it obey his will. ‘Oh, dammit, Johnny, don’t die, please don’t die…’ Johnny was Dally’s last shred of innocence, and nobody can live without any innocence at all, so Dally didn’t have anything else to live for. Overall, Dally is the least innocent of the gang because he turned cold and hard since you don’t get hurt that way. The boys all have a different innocence because of the way their lives are whether it is Dally living on the streets of New York, Johnny having a terrible home life and only being loved by the gang, or Ponyboy losing his parents, they all went through something that made them less innocent. Ponyboy is more innocent than many members of the gang because he can still find positive aspects of his life such as not losing his brothers, and having a gang who loves him. Johnny is less innocent than Ponyboy because he doesn’t have a family who loves him, and that impacts him and makes him see his home life very negatively. Dally has completely lost his innocence and love for the world. He hardened himself because he thought that you don’t get hurt if you get tough. Because we all have different lives and experiences that make us who we are. If everyone had the same innocence and views that would not make a diverse world. It is not just about what you have seen, it is about how that changes who you are and your personality.

The Outsiders: A Story Of Gangs, Drama, And Trauma

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton is about, a gang going through a lot of drama and trauma only to lose the one person who could hold their gang together, Johnny. In The Outsiders, two members of the Greasers gang, Johnny and Ponyboy, get into a fight with some members of the Socs, their rival gang. They kill one of the Socs and go on the run. One character that stands out in the story is Johnny because he causes the main conflict in this novel. Through Johnny’s miserable, brave, and thoughtful life, he learns that you begin to lose your innocence when you experience the harsh realities of the world. Johnny can be described as miserable for many reasons. One example that shows Johnny’s misery is when Ponyboy was talking about how Johnny’s parents neglected and abused him.

On page 12, S. E. Hinton states “He would have ran away a million times if we hadn’t been there.” This shows that the whole gang helps Johnny through hard times with his parents. Another example of Johnny’s unhappiness is when Ponyboy and Johnny went to the fountain after Darry hit Ponyboy. According to the novel on page 51, Johnny says, “… At least you got Soda, I got nobody.” Therefore, Johnny believes that nobody cares for him even though the whole gang cares about him. From these examples, it is clear that Johnny isn’t happy, because he thinks that he is all alone and nobody is there for him. Not only does Johnny display sad behavior he also proves to be brave. This is apparent when he rushed back into the church in order to save the children from the fire. Hinton states “Johnny looked over his shoulder and saw the door was blocked by flames, then paused opened the window and tossed out the nearest kid.” on page 92.

This reveals Johnny’s bravery by running back into the church to help those children and Ponyboy. Another example is when Johnny killed Bob in order to save Ponyboy. On page 57, Johnny says “… I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you..” This shows that Johnny will do whatever he can to save himself or others. Readers can see that Johnny is very courageous by doing all of these life-risking activities in order to help others. The final and most important description that Johnny has is his thoughtfulness. For instance, in chapter 5, when Johnny and Ponyboy run away to Windrixville and they were in the abandoned church Ponyboy says “ ‘A paperback copy of Gone with the Wind! How’d you know I always wanted one?’ Johnny redenned. ‘I remembered you sayin’ something bout it once…’ ” on page 71. In just a few actions, Johnny showed how much he cared for Ponyboy, and that he does listen to others. In another scene, Johnny shows his attentive behavior again when he was talking to Ponyboy before he died. His last words were “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…” on page 148.

All in all, he was taking into consideration the poem that Ponyboy told him. Johnny told Ponyboy to “stay gold” because he wanted Ponyboy to know that he had been thinking about Pony and the poem that he told Johnny. Hinton leaves readers with the definite impression that Johnny is very much caring towards his friends and others. In the novel The Outsiders, Johnny learned that you can lose your innocence very quickly through having to kill Bob, being abused by his parents, and having to go on the run. By living through all of those harsh realities of the world, Johnny learns that your innocence is very important and you should do whatever you can, in order to keep your innocence for as long as you can. Ultimately, you should never wish your childhood away or wish to grow up, because you don’t know what you’re going to encounter when you’ve grown up.

The Main Character Of The Outsiders Is Ponyboy Curtis.

The main character of The Outsiders is Ponyboy Curtis. He is 14 years old who lives with his two brothers, Sodapop Curtis and Darry Curtis. His parents sadly died before this book was written, and so he lives with his oldest brother, Darry and Sodapop. Ponyboy has greenish-gray eyes and light brown hair. This could be shown by the following, “I have light-brown, almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes”. One of the most important feature in Ponyboy’s body (as claimed by himself) is his hair. He describes his hair with the following sentences, “My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair.”. His hair is important to him because it is part of his identity as a Greaser, because that is the only thing he has to hold on to (or that is what he thinks).

Darry describes Ponyboy as this kid who does not use common sense. He thinks that he is doing great in his education and literature understanding, but sometimes he just does not use the great brain he has. These occasions usually get Ponyboy in trouble that he could dodge so easily. Problems that led to a chain of events in this book that could have easily been stopped. But he changes and evolves as the story progresses. Ponyboy’s educational accomplishments is the one thing that sets him apart from the Greasers, a closely knitted gang that lives in the East and lower class side of town. Ponyboy narrates this book and has a subjective point of view. He perceives people for their appearance rather than their true reality. But he learns that appearances and first impressions are not always the best ones. He also learns that it takes a while to see and learn what a person really is. And that what we learn, is often different than we perceive at first. The most memorable thing about Ponyboy is that he finds a way to live in the world again through writing , and the ability to reach out to other people.

On a side note, Ponyboy also has a ton of friends. His closest friends are the people in his gang, the Greasers. The gang members form an alternate group of family members. He is able to find a sense of safety and security with his friendships and relationships formed within this group, and they help fill in the loss dealt from his parent’s death. But if I would have to choose his best two friends, it would probably be Johnny Cade and Sodapop Curtis. Johnny Cade is first perceived to be the “gang’s pet” and is described as a “lost puppy who has been kicked way too many times”. He has “big black eyes in a dark tanned face”. He was physically and mentally abused by his parents and Ponyboy claimed that “If it hadn’t been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are.”. But in reality, Johnny is brave because he defended his friends against a group (the Socs) that scarred him for life (since they beat the tar out of him), he saved children from a burning church building, and stood up to one of the fiercest members of the Greasers (Dally). The one thing that makes Johnny a memorable character is that his ability to fight any obstacle thrown against him. Starting with the abuse from his parents all the way to having a conscious of killing a person, Johnny has fought it all and still managed to have a genuine smile.

Sodapop Curtis is “movie-star kind of handsome, the kind that people stop on the street to watch go by.”. He has dark brown eyes and dark-gold hair and is not as tall as Darry. He is idolized by Ponyboy because he is the only (with the exception of Johnny) person that really understands Ponyboy. He is also one of the only “true pieces” of family Ponyboy has got left. He is a stable character as the story continues, while Ponyboy is a dynamic character because he changes from start to finish. He dropped out of high school and works at a gas station, but Ponyboy believes that he is smart. Sodapop is memorable because he is the only character that we really follow when it comes to pursuing love. This is because he is in love with Sandy and wants to get married with her, and even though he has the looks and all, she does not get married to him. Ponyboy also has a helper from the “enemy” side, Cherry Valance. She is part of the Socs, a gang that lives in the west side of town and are rich, fancy people, but wants to help Ponyboy out. It is in Chapter 6, in which Cherry tells Ponyboy that she is acting as a “spy” for them and that she needs to help them. This could be shown by the following, “She (Cherry) said she felt that the whole mess was her fault, which it is, and that she’d keep up with what was comin’ off with the Socs in the rumble and would testify that the Socs were drunk and looking for a fight and that you fought back in self-defense.’. Cherry is trying to do what Ponyboy eventually learns to do, which is move beyond fake appearances and tries to act in a way that reveals her “reality” rather than her appearance. The thing that makes Cherry so memorable is that she tries and learns to act in a way to make amends for past violent actions done by the Socs towards the Greasers.

The one person that challenges Ponyboy in the beginning and middle (but not the end) of this book is Darry Curtis. Darry is Ponyboy’s brother “who just could not go to school even with the athletic scholarship he had” (Hinton 15). Ponyboy claims that Darry just hates Ponyboy and just wants to get rid of him. Darry always batters him with comments for things Ponyboy has no control over and acts as if he loves Sodapop more than Ponyboy. This could be shown by the following, “Darry thought I was just another mouth to feed and somebody to holler at. Darry love me? I thought of those hard, pale eyes. Soda was wrong for once, I thought. Darry doesn’t love anyone or anything, except maybe Soda. I didn’t hardly think of him as being human. I don’t care, I lied to myself, I don’t care about him either. Soda’s enough, and I’d have him until I got out of school. I don’t care about Darry. But I was still lying and I knew it. I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.”. Darry was a “substitute father” for Ponyboy and even though he was strict on Ponyboy, he just wanted him to be better than what he has. Ponyboy learns this through the following lines, “Darry did care about me, maybe as much as he cared about Soda, and because he cared he was trying too hard to make something of me. When he yelled ‘Pony, where have you been all this time?’ he meant ‘Pony, you’ve scared me to death.

Please be careful, because I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you.’”. The Socs were also an obstacle and challenge for Ponyboy. Because of the Socs in the first place, Johnny and Ponyboy had to run away. This eventually led to Johnny’s death and then Dally’s death. The Socs took their money for granted and used their advantage on the social hierarchy against the Greasers. Ponyboy tells us this by the following, “ 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.’. Ponyboy just wants to live in a world where society cares about ones true character rather than their appearance, because no one deserves to be perceived to be “lower” than anyone else that may seem “above” them. Everyone is equal, no matter how big or small ones appearance and mentality may be.

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