HOME
The Info List - The Outsiders (novel)



--- Advertisement ---


(i)

THE OUTSIDERS is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton , first published in 1967 by Viking Press . Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel, but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school. Hinton was 18 when the book was published. The book follows two rival groups, the Greasers and the Socs (pronounced by the author as /ˈsoʊʃɪz/ , short for Socials), who are divided by their socioeconomic status . The story is told in first-person narrative by protagonist Ponyboy Curtis.

The story in the book takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
, in 1965, but this is never stated in the book.

A film adaptation was produced in 1983, and a little-known short-lived television series appeared in 1990, picking up where the movie left off. A stage adaptation was written by Christopher Sergel and published in 1990.

CONTENTS

* 1 Plot summary

* 2 Major characters

* 2.1 Greasers * 2.2 Socs * 2.3 Other characters

* 3 Controversy * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Bibliography * 7 External links

PLOT SUMMARY

Ponyboy Curtis, a member of a gang called the “Greasers”, is leaving a movie theater when groups of “Socs” (short for "Socials", pronounced /ˈsoʊʃɪz/ SOH-shiz ), the Greasers’ rival gang, jump him. His two older brothers—Darry and Sodapop—and several members of their gang rescue him. The next night, Ponyboy and his Greaser friends Dallas "Dally" Winston and Johnny meet Socs, Cherry Valance and Marcia, at a drive-in movie theatre. Ponyboy realizes that Cherry is nothing like the Socs he has met before.

Afterward, Two-Bit Matthews, another gang member, Ponyboy, and Johnny walk Cherry and Marcia home. Socs, Bob Sheldon and Randy Adderson see them and think the boys are trying to pick up their girlfriends. Cherry prevents a fight and the girls leave with Bob and Randy willingly. When Ponyboy comes home at two in the morning, Darry becomes angry and in a fit of rage starts to yell at both Soda and Pony. Ponyboy runs away after Darry slaps him, and meets up with Johnny to run away. Ponyboy calms down and wonders if running away would be a good idea.

The boys wander into a park in the neighborhood. Bob, Randy, and three other Socs confront them. After exchanges of derogatory remarks, Ponyboy spits at them, prompting the Socs to attempt to drown Ponyboy in a fountain. However, Johnny, anxious and terrified (and having been brutally jumped by Bob on a previous occasion) stabs Bob, killing him. Ponyboy and Johnny, frightened and unaware of what to do because both know those who murder in Oklahoma will be executed on the electric chair , seek Dally’s help. Dally gives them money and a loaded gun and tells them to hide in an abandoned church in Windrixville. During their stay, Pony cuts and dyes his hair as a disguise and reads Gone with the Wind to Johnny. He also recites the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay " by Robert Frost .

Dally comes to check on them and he reveals that the tensions between the Greasers and Socs have increased since Bob's death. Johnny decides to turn himself in and Dally agrees to take the boys back home. As they attempt to leave, they notice the church has caught fire and several children are trapped inside. The boys run inside the burning church to save them, but Ponyboy is rendered unconscious by the fumes. At the hospital he discovers that he and Dally are not badly injured, but a piece of the church roof fell on Johnny and broke his back. Sodapop and Darry come to the hospital; Darry breaks down and cries. Ponyboy then realizes that Darry cares about him, and is only hard on Ponyboy because he wants him to have a good future.

The following morning the newspapers declare Pony and Johnny heroes, but Johnny would be charged with manslaughter for Bob’s death. Two-Bit tells them that the consistent rivalry between the adversaries is to be settled in a rumble. Ponyboy and Two-Bit run into Randy who tells them he will not participate in the fight.

Later, they visit Johnny at the hospital when he is in critical condition. On their way home, Pony spots Cherry and they tal