The Ousiders by S.E Hinton Test Response on the question "What does the novel teach us about violence?"

Essay by liam499Junior High, 9th gradeA+, October 2008

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What does the novel teach us about violence?In S.E Hinton's book 'the Outsiders' a story about two teenage gangs in America during the 1960's, the author teaches the reader some very important lessons about violence. The main character, fourteen year old Ponyboy Curtis is a member of the Greasers, a poor underprivileged gang, whose rivals are the wealthier Socials. Despite their differences the members of these gangs have one thing in common - they both enjoy fighting. Some of the main characters soon realise that there is a high price to be paid for violence. Hinton strongly suggests that no good can come from violence. She shows us that communication is a far more sensible way for resolving conflict.

The novel deals with the needless pain and violence caused by gang rivalry. The entire book centres on the hostility that exists between the Socials and the Greasers. Because the Socials think they are superior, they jump on the Greasers at every opportunity.

Before the book actually begins, they are understood to have beaten up Johnny Cade for absolutely no reason. Then in the first chapter of the book, the Socials "jump" Ponyboy, the main character, as he walks home from the movie theatre alone. Such needless violence leads directly to the death of Bob and indirectly to the deaths of Johnny and Dally.

It is not long, however, before members of both gangs begin to see that violence can have tragic consequences. We see this when Johnny tries to convince Ponyboy the he had to kill Bob, when he says to him"I had to they were drowning you pony. They might have killed you." (p57)Johnny was affected by killing Bob in many ways. One of these ways was his sorrow indicated by his demeanour during the stay in...