The Outsiders: S. E. Hinton

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The novel ‘The Outsiders’ written by S.E. Hinton is about a character called Ponyboy who learns some very important lessons. Ponyboy is a 14 year old boy he is very intelligent but his Greaser lifestyle holds him back. Some lessons Ponyboy learns is that ‘violence doesn’t solve anything’ and he must ‘stay gold.’ Firstly, the main character Ponyboy learns that he must ‘stay gold’. ‘Stay gold’ means staying true to yourself and don’t change. When Johnny was about to die the last words he said were ‘Stay gold’ to Ponyboy. Ponyboy discovers life has an expiration date and that he must stay true to himself and never change just because others are changing and because of peer pressure and he must not change because of Johnny and Dallas’ death. Secondly, Ponyboy learns that ‘violence doesn’t solve anything.’ This novel concerns conflict between two groups of teenagers to whom violence is a way of life and they use it to express their feelings and gain respect. By the end of the novel Ponyboy learns that violence is not always a solution. The Socs and the Greasers always like to fight each other but it never solves anything because they keep fighting. At the start of the story Ponyboy is attacked and rescued by Darry as he returns home from the movies. Bob is a Soc and is part of the group trying to drown Ponyboy. He is killed by Johnny who has to run away. When Johnny is in hospital, he says... ‘Useless fighting’s no good.’ After Johnny dies, Dally (another Greaser) robs a liquor store with an empty gun and is killed by the police. His death is pointless. It is through these deaths that Ponyboy learns how fragile life is and how ‘violence doesn’t solve anything.’ This novel concerns conflict between the two groups of teenagers to whom violence is a way of life and they use it to express their feelings and gain respect. By the end of the novel Ponyboy learns that violence is not always the answer to solving things. ‘Stay gold’ and ‘violence doesn’t solve anything’ are...
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