Outsiders: Gang Members

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The need to belong is a fundamental need within all of humanity, and has played a key role in society since the beginning of time. The novel by S.E Hinton, ‘The Outsiders’ conveys this need and the yearning to feel social acceptance within us all. ‘The Outsiders’ comments on this inherent part of humanity through its realistic portrayal of teenage gang life, centering on the dependency of the gang members to feel a sense of inclusion and support from their gang. Insert The Outsiders plot line

‘The Outsiders’ conveys that the need to belong is apparent within everyone through the universality of the needs and views of the gang members. This conveys that finding a place to belong, as the characters do within their own gangs, is a basic aspect of man. These concepts are explored through the archetypal structure of the gangs represented within 'The Outsiders’ that the audience is able to relate to, with the gangs clear hierarchy and their fierce loyalty and dependency present between the gang members. The novel depicts Ponyboy’s awakening to the true similarities between the rival gangs, and that although they brand themselves as polar opposites, both gangs at the heart are the same. It is slowly revealed that both gangs exist in order to give the teenagers a place to deal with society’s expectations and to feel a sense of inclusion, needs that the whole of society can relate to. The rivalry between the gang also signifies the universality of the gangs, as it is common throughout society for groups to bond themselves through a sense of ‘us versus them’, fulfilling the need within humanity for inclusion and camaraderie. There is also a strong tribal element within the gangs, as both gangs are male centered, territorial and resort to violence. This conveys the inherent need within humanity to belong, as tribes have formed since the beginning of time as an answer to this need. The tribal nature of the gangs also conveys the gang member’s reliance on the gang and the...
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