The Outsiders - Ponyboy's Changes [Grade 8]

In chapter 7 of the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Ponyboy explains to Two-bit “‘He aint a Soc’ I said, ‘He’s just a guy’” (Hinton, 118). Ponyboy and Two-bit are part of a group of teenage boys that make up the gang called the greasers on the East Side of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Living on the East Side meant that they were lower class and underprivileged. Ponyboys parents were killed in a car accident. He lives with his two older brothers Darry and Soda, who are also greasers. The Socs, who live on the West Side, are the greaser’s rival gang. They are higher-income teenagers living in a paradise with no problems whatsoever from the greasers point of view. To some Socs, greasers are trash to beat up for fun. Other Socs, such as Cherry Valance, think that everyone should be seen as equal. Through events in the novel, Ponyboy’s opinion of the Socs changes from dislike to understanding.

You can hate a person for countless reasons. The Socs gave Ponyboy and the rest of the greasers more than enough reasons to push them over the edge. Jumping greasers is a common Soc hobby. For example, the Socs beat up Johnny Cade, a greaser, to the point that he was paranoid later on in the book. One of those same Socs involved in Johnny Cade’s beating, named Bob, tried to drown Ponyboy, leading Johnny to stab and kill Bob in Ponyboy’s defense. Due to their social status, the Socs rarely were punished for their crimes, which angered the greasers. The greasers were always the first to be blamed for crimes, even those they did not commit. The greasers viewed the Socs’ world as perfect and did not see the reason to why the Socs had to pick fights with them.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to change the way you see things. In the novel, Ponyboy experiences events that change the way he sees Soc life. After Johnny killed Bob, one of Bob’s close friends, Randy, who is also a member of the Socs, talked to Ponyboy about his life. “‘I’m sick of all this. Sick and tired. Bob was a good guy.’”...