The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a novel that focuses on the differences between two ways of life, rich and poor. It is set in the large town of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the United States of America and is centered on two rival gangs, one rich and the other poor. The story is set in the 1960's and gives a chronological account of incidents that take place over a few weeks.
The narrator and protagonist of The Outsiders is Ponyboy Curtis, a fourteen-year-old boy. He has greenish gray eyes and long, light brown hair. Since his parents were killed in a car accident, he lives with his two older brothers, Sodapop and Darrel. All three of them belong to a gang known as the Greasers, which is comprised of teenagers from the poor east side of town. The name Greasers reflects their long and oily hair. Ponyboy and his oldest brother, Darry, have constant arguments.
Ponyboy resents his brother's constant criticism and intrusion into his life. The reason that Darry always criticizes Ponyboy is because he knows that Ponyboy is smart and has the potential to go to college and get a good job. Of course, Ponyboy does not realize the reasons behind Darry's comments and has trouble relating to him. Ponyboy's relationship with his other brother, Soda, on the other hand, is a friendlier one than his relationship with Darry. Ponyboy worships Soda's happy-go-lucky attitude towards life and Soda acts as a buffer between Ponyboy and Darry. At the end of the book, Ponyboy emerges from his voyage of self-discovery as a different person. He no longer pities himself or has a chip on his shoulder; instead, he looks into the future with optimism, knowing that he can rise above gang life and poverty and do something...