Essay Preview: Outsider
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The main characters are Ponyboy Michael Curtis Johnny Cade, Steve Randle, Dallas Winston, Darrel “Darry” Shaynne Curtis, Jr., Keith “Two-Bit” Mathews, and Sodapop Patrick Curtis, a gang of Greasers in Tulsa. Ponyboy whose two older brothers are Darry and Sodapop narrates the story. The three boys are orphaned after a car accident kills their parents and Darry is left to provide for them.
The Greasers, who tend to be less prosperous, obtain their nickname from the grease they use to slick back their hair. The Socs (pronounced soashes, an abbreviation of Socialites) tend to be wealthier. Although “The Outsiders” may seem to refer to the alienated Greasers, both groups are set back by economic, social, or creative limits.
In the beginning, Ponyboy, a Greaser, comes out of a movie house and is beat up by a group of Socs, but is saved by Darry, Sodapop and the gang.
At an open drive-in theater one night, Pony and his best buddy Johnny befriend two Soc girls, Sherri “Cherry” Valance and Marcia. While walking them home, their drunk boyfriends Bob Sheldon and Randy Adderson catch up to them, in their Mustang. The girls decide to return home with their boyfriends to avoid a fight. Ponyboy and Johnny fall asleep in a vacant lot, which results in Ponyboy coming home late. Darry becomes angry with and slaps him. Ponyboy runs out and finds Johnny at the vacant lot. They decide to run to the park to cool off.
While in a park, Bob and his Soc friends drive by, and begin to harass Ponyboy and Johnny. The Socs proceed to chase after the two boys and attempt to drown Ponyboy in a nearby fountain. Johnny takes out his switchblade and stabs Bob, killing him. Randy and the other socs run away in fright. The two boys seek help from Dallas “Dally” Winston, who gives them a loaded gun, money, and directions to an abandoned church in Windrixville to hide out in. Also, Dally tells them that hell be down there when he thinks its safe. They take the 3:15 goods.
While hiding out in the church, they disguise their appearance, cutting off their long greasy hair. Ponyboy bleaches his with peroxide. While in hiding, the boys bond even more, and discover they both have a love for the beautiful things in life that are often not obvious. While going through the daily struggles that are overwhelming while living on the wrong side of town. Pony shares the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” with Johnny, confessing he never quite understood it.
Dally comes to visit them a week later, and brings Ponyboy and Johnny to the Dairy Queen to get some food. While there, he tells them that Cherry is willing to testify that her boyfriend Bob went looking for a fight and Ponyboy and Johnny fought back in self defense. After hearing this, Johnny tells Dallas that they want to go home and turn themselves in. Dally reacts angrily, feeling they went through all they had just to give up and they drive off. After a little while, Dally tells Johnny that he doesnt want to see Johnny get hardened in jail like he did. Ponyboy is somewhat shocked because Dallas never spoke of his past in that manner, but refrains from saying anything.
On the way back, they see that the church they had been staying in is on fire, most likely because of the cigarettes they had been smoking there. When they hear children trapped inside, Ponyboy and Johnny both run in to rescue the children. Ponyboy describes this as the first time Johnny did not have his usual scared, beaten-down look. Unfortunately, that does not last for long, because a burning roof beam falls on Johnny right before he was going to get out. He is knocked to the ground, his back broken. When Dally realizes what has happened, he immediately goes inside the church to rescue Johnny.
They are taken back to the hospital in town, Dally with minor injuries and Ponyboy with nothing wrong except for some bruises. However, Johnny is in critical condition. Ponyboy reconciles with his family, finally realizing that Darry does care about him, and the gang prepares for a big “rumble” (fight) with the Socs, which was sparked by the stabbing.
The day of the rumble, Randy, one of the other Socs who was trying to drown him that fateful night, confronts Ponyboy. He says that he doesnt want to fight in the rumble that nothing good would come of it. He said that he was sick of the fighting, and he had to tell someone. After this, both Randy and Ponyboy have different ideas of each other, and Randy ends up not attending the rumble.
Dally breaks out of the hospital to fight in the rumble. He is determined to fight for Johnny; and the Greasers are victorious. After the rumble, Dally and Ponyboy speed down the road in the car that Dallas borrowed from Buck Merril, his employer. When they get to the hospital, the doctor stops them, saying that Johnny is dying, but Dallas flips out his switchblade. The