The Outsiders, an enthralling tale by S.E. Hinton, is an excellent story about the hardships and triumphs experienced by the Greasers and the Socs, two rival gangs. This novel suggests the stories content because the Greasers are a gang of social outcasts and misfits. This novels theme is very specific; people, no matter what their social background, strive for the same goals and experience the same disappointments. This novel shows this theme throughout a detailed story line.
The fictional novel is set in a moderate-size city, possibly near Texas, in the late 1960s. Ponyboy, the main character, lives with his brothers as a greaser. One day Ponyboy and Johnny, Ponyboys best friend, get jumped by a group of Socs. The Socs start to drown Ponyboy in a fountain. Johnny, realizing they might kill Ponyboy, kills Bob, one of the Socs with his switchblade. Johnny and Ponyboy run to a fellow Greaser, Dally, who is always in trouble with the law. Dally helps them by giving them some money, a gun, and a place to hide. They hide in a church outside of town for a week until Dally says its okay to come out. They go out to eat and when they get back to the church they find it burning. When they see that there are kids inside and the fire could have been started by their cigarettes, they run inside to save the kids. Johnny and Dally are hurt in the fire and taken to the hospital. They are hailed as heroes in the local paper. Dally breaks out of the hospital to fight in a rumble against the Socs. While the Greasers beat the Socs, Johnny dies in the hospital. When Dally finds out he goes out and robs a grocery store. When the cops pull up he pulls out an empty gun so the cops shoot him.
The theme of this novel is that all people are set back at times and they all want the same basic things. This theme is expressed in the novel several times. Disappointments are shown when Bob dies and the Socs grieve for him, when Ponyboys parents die and they are upset, and when Johnny dies and it disturbs the Greasers. It is shown that the Greasers and Socs strive for the same goals when Darry, Ponyboys older brother, tells him that he should succeed in school and make something of himself, and Bob is always trying to make his father happy with him. These examples show that all people, Soc, Greaser, or whatever, all strive to achieve the same goals and encounter the same disappointments. The theme that all people experience the same disappointments and strive for the same goals is also depicted in modern times. All people want to have a good job, make a lot of money, and live a good life. Everyone also encounters hardships throughout their life. Their car can break down, their loved ones can die, and they can run out of money. As you can see, this theme is important not only in The Outsiders, but in everyday life as well.