"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton Essay: As readers we empathize with the Greasers but the novel as a whole leaves little hope for them. Do you agree?

Essay by nsbhs April 2007

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"The Outsiders" is a novel written by S.E. Hinton. It allows its readers to emphasise with the Greasers through its use of realistic language and description and allows the reader to experience the Greaser's life through Ponyboy. The novel as a whole leaves little hope for the gang. The gang lives on the wrong side of town and is not accepted by society. However there is some hope for Ponyboy and his brothers.

In the novel, the author enabled the readers to have an insight to what life was like for a Greaser through the narrator, Ponyboy. The Greasers live on the poor, industrial side of town and most of the Greasers were not able to finish school and have low-paid jobs. They were not accepted by society due to their clothing, long hair, and greasy appearance. Ponyboy is different to other most other Greasers. He enjoys reading books and watching sunsets unlike other violent Greasers who drink alcohol from a young age and have fights.

Although Ponyboy tries to be tough like the rest of the Greasers he realised that in the end he had the possibility of a bright future and that deep down he was not a violent Greaser.

The dialogue and language of the novel also contributed to allowing the readers to empathise with the Greasers. The language and dialogue shows the inner deep emotions of the Greasers. The parts of the novel that takes place inside houses shows the child side to the Greaser's violent personalities. There is peaceful interaction between the gang members and readers are able to gain an insight into the Greaser's lives.

However, the novel leaves almost no hope for the Greasers. After the events of the book, things will most likely go back to normal. The Greasers will always be Greasers no matter how many times they win fights. There will always be the rivalry between Socs and Greasers. The Greasers are outsiders and the gang as a whole is unlikely going to have success in the future as they are weighed down by their social status and their lack of money.

There is some hope for Ponyboy. The novel ends as a tragic comedy. Although Bob, Johnny, and Dally have needlessly lost their lives, Pony was able overcome his emotional problems, largely due to Johnny's letter of encouragement. He reconciles with Darry, finally understanding how much his older brother loves and cares for him even though Darry was a little rough with him. He also accepts that he does not have to be an outsider or a Greaser for the rest of his life. In order to seek help and understanding for underprivileged children like himself, Pony's mission becomes to tell others about the immense obstacles that stand in the way of success for teenagers from the wrong side of town. The novel, therefore, ends on a note of hope and optimism for Ponyboy and his brothers.

In conclusion, The Outsiders allows its readers to empathise with the Greasers. However, the novel as a whole leaves little hope for the gang due to their social status. The author achieves these by using vivid descriptions, dialogue, and by utilising the plot of the novel.

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