The Outsiders, a story of a gang of kids from the wrong side of town, was a great book. From Ponyboy getting beat up to Johnny dying in the fire. The story begins when Ponyboy was walking home from the movies and gets jumped by a group of Socs (or Socials).
The socs are the rich kids from the West Side who drink, drive fancy cars, and beat up Greasers just for fun. The Greasers fear and hate the Socs because the Socs once beat up Ponyboy’s friend Johnny Cade.The night after Ponyboy’s mishap with the Socs, Johnny and Ponyboy went to the movies with their friend Dally Winston to talk up the two Soc girls named Cherry and Marcia. After the movie had finished, Johnny and Ponyboy were walking the girls home when suddenly a group of Socs show up, including the girls’ boyfriends, Bob and Randy. The boys have been drinking, which is why the girls had left them and gone to the movies by themselves. To avoid a fight between the Greasers and Socs, Cherry and Marsha agreed to go home with Bob and Randy. When Ponyboy did not arrive at home till late, Darry shouted and decided to slap him, making them both think twice of each other.
Ponyboy ran off to find Johnny so the two boys could walk to the nearest park for Ponyboy to calm down. The Socs keep finding their way to the Greasers and once again they were drunk. Bob then tries to threaten Johnny while the others attempted to drown Ponyboy in a fountain. Johnny fatally stabs Bob in self-defense. Johnny and Ponyboy tell Dally what happened, and Dally tells them about an old church on the outside of town where they can sneak off to and hide.Ponyboy and Johnny hid out in the church for a few days until Dally showed up to tell them that Cherry, Bob’s girlfriend, is going to testify in court on the Socs behalf. Johnny decided to turn himself in because he can make a case for self-defense easier than being tried in court for murder. Dally takes the boys to get a bite to eat but when they got back, the church was on fire.
Ponyboy believes that it was a lit cigarette from one of them. Realizing that there was a school picnic going on there, the boys rushed inside and try to manage to save the children trapped in the church, but Johnny was badly injured when a fallen beam broke his back.Johnny died in the hospital as a result of his burns and broken back. As devastated that Dally was, he allowed himself to be killed by the police in a shootout after he robbed a store. Ponyboy had a difficult time accepting Johnny’s death and all that has happened to him and he began to drop academic ability in school. When he was assigned to write an essay for English so that he can pass the class, he thought of the experiences he’s had and decided to write his story. His brothers, his friends, and Johnny’s heroism can remind kids that there will always be some good to be found in the world.I would give this book a five star rating because there was always action occurring along with intense scenes.
Hinton also did a very good job at emphasizing the difference between the Greasers and Socs. Ponyboy would be considered the protagonist, or the good guy, because he had very little impact on why he was a Greaser. When he was a child, both of his parents died leaving him and his two brothers to live by themselves. This event caused him to be poor, not because he was rude and disloyal to everyone. The Socials are spoiled and rude to everyone because they believe they are better than everyone. In reality, a Greaser is a subculture popularized by working class teenagers and Socs are rich, snobby kids.
If you enjoyed The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, I would recommend Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. It is about children during the slavery days that were bullied and also terrorized by a large fire.
A fire that they will never forget.