The Outsiders shows the importance of preserving the hope, open-mindedness, and appreciation of beauty that are characteristic of childhood. Primarily through the character of Dallas (Dally Winston) the novel also shows how easily experience can harden people and cause them to lose these youthful traits. It also shows the tragic results of this process. dally’s rough Childhood has made him tough and fearsome, and he seems not to care about anything. But Dally has a soft spot too—his love for Johnny.
Johnny represents the hope that Dally has lost, and Dally strives to protect Johnny from the forces that threaten to pull him into the cycle of violence that has enveloped Dally. When Johnny and Dally die, an acknowledgment of the death of any hope in his life. Johnny’s dying words, “stay gold,” also touch on this theme by referencing the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay. ” While the poem’s message—that all beautiful things Never stay—forces the two boys to realize that they can’t hide from the realities of growing up.
Both the Socs and the greasers sacrifice their individuality to the styles and sentiments of their groups. Greasers, for example, wear their hair long and oiled, and share a common hostility toward the Socs. at the start of the novel, Ponyboy is a dedicated greaser even though he knows that certain aspects of his personality make him different from the rest of the gang (he likes movies, books and is still in school). He also feels that he is misunderstood because of these stereotypes. “Greasers will still be greasers and Socs will still be Socs.
Sometimes I think it’s the ones in the middle that are really the lucky stiffs. ” “ It wasn’t fair for the Socs to have everything. We were as good as they are; it wasn’t are fault we were Greasers. ” The gang provides him with too great of a sense of safety and strength to even consider life outside of it. But the events surrounding Bob’s death cause Ponyboy to think more deeply about who he wants to be, and his conversations with Johnny, Cherry, and Randy lead him to reflect on the path his life is taking.
He begins to question the reasons for conflict between Socs and greasers, and he thinks hard about the decision to participate in the rumble. Ponyboy’s willingness to enter friendships with Socs signals the development of a distinct personal identity, one that includes association with the greasers but excludes total devotion to the greaser way of life. Darry encourages Ponyboy to pursue a life beyond gang membership, and the deaths of Johnny and Dally inspire the expression of his individual point of view in the English essay he writes.
By the end of the novel, Ponyboy has committed himself to a life that will, at least in part, encourage other boys to find their own paths and voices, outside of the gang identity. During the book one character Johnny Cade is only descried as one thing, lonely. His farther is an alcoholic that constantly beating him and his mother ignores him. “I prefer getting beaten by my dad, at least he knows I’m there. By the time he’s in the hospital he is so upset he refuses to see his mom. “ my parents probably don’t care were I am. ” Johnny is always known for being abused by his parents and sleeping in the lot, but its only his friends that keep him from feeling completely invisible. The “Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton has three main themes, innocence, misunderstanding, and loneliness. Darry, Ponyboy and Johnny express these themes splendidly, showing their courage and heroism.