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The Outsiders

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  • November 2012
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‘Hard times bring out the best and worst in human nature’ The Outsiders – Text response essay

In the novel ‘The Outsiders’ by S.E Hinton, we see how hard times bring out the best and worst in human nature. Human nature is basically what people are like deep down. As the characters change and their life grows and gets harder, we are shown their true colours. Some of them change for the best, and some for the worst.

Hard times include a large variety of matters. Based on the novel that we are working on – ‘The Outsiders’, some of the issues we see are, loss of family members and friends, violence, bullying, poverty and disadvantages (clothes, money etc..). The best in human nature has many potentials including caring for each other, romantic love, family love, friendship, wealth, success and being brave. On the other hand, the worst in human nature includes violence/harassment, anger/hatred, robbery and being abusive and selfish.

Throughout ‘The Outsiders’, the best in human nature has been brought to the characters in many ways. A great example of this is the scene where one of the Soc’s, Randy, tries drowning Ponyboy. Johnny (One of Ponyboy’s best friend) who has always been very afraid of the Soc’s as they had once left him bruised and scarred, stepped up and stabbed Randy, trying to save his friend. This one move showed the best in human nature in quite a few ways. It showed Johnny caring for his friend, love and bravery.

The worst in human nature is also shown in the same scene. Although Johnny killed Randy to save his friend, assassinating someone is not the way to go! However, that isn’t the only time in this scene we see an example of the worst in human nature. Bob was also in the wrong for trying to drown Ponyboy for a reason that was so insignificant. The rest of the Soc’s gang were also in the wrong for not stopping Bob from doing such a thing. The aspects of the worst in human nature being shown here were anger/hatred, violence and abuse....