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The Outsiders By Se Hinton Why Gangs Portrayed In This Novel Are Real

889 words - 4 pages

Gangs. This is what is portrayed in SE Hinton's novel, The Outsiders. Two different gangs from opposite ends of the social ladder clash in this epic novel of social tension between two rival groups, the Socs and the Greasers. The main character, 14-year-old Ponyboy, is a Greaser who lives under the cycle of poverty and endless pressure from the Socs. They are the upper class Westside crowd who are accepted in society. The Greasers, in contrast, struggle to put food on the table and are social outcasts. SE Hinton has mentioned about gangs several times in her novel. But what really defines a gang? According to some, it is, "A group of young people who spend time together for social reasons." ...view middle of the document...

For example, in New York City, the "Greasers" would live in Brooklyn, while the "Socs" would reside in Clifton Park. In the case of this tale, Greasers live in the Eastside, while the Socs live in the West. "Turfs," are the areas in which the gangs dwell. They can be marked, but are usually known by word of mouth, as in The Outsiders. When Ponyboy and Johnny came across the drunken Socs, Ponyboy commented how this was their ground. The Socs also acknowledged that it indeed was. The fear, or more respect, factor also applies here. The residents within a certain gang's turf usually respect the gang, or fear them. An example was when the two gangs had a "showdown," Steve commented that no one would dare call the cops, because there would be a manhunt from both sides. Though they didn't urinate to mark their territory, turf is essential for a gang.The rivalry between other gangs is made prominent at the beginning of the book when Ponyboy gets jumped by a group of Socs. The feud between the Greasers and the Socs is long lived, though they are merely divided by social classes. The Greasers get "jumped" by the Socs for their endless amusement. When Johnny puts a Soc out of his misery, the tension increased. There are many different reasons why the rivalry may occur. One is to obtain...

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