Appearance And Character In The Outsider

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Appearance and Character “Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset” (41) ponders Ponyboy, a Greaser, when he realizes social class does not define a person. S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders tells of a town where social class splits the citizens into the lower class Greasers, who others view as horrible, selfish, tough, trouble-making criminals, and the upper class Socs or Socials, who the townspeople view as the privileged, wealthy, law-abiding people. Throughout the novel, one Greaser, Ponyboy, comes to realize outer appearance, the way someone looks, does not always determine his or her character or an individual’s distinctive moral and mental qualities. S.E. Hinton uses characters to clearly illustrate …show more content…
When Greasers, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally, go to the movies, they meet two Socs named Cherry and Sandy. When the movie ends, Ponyboy walks Cherry home, and she explains to him the misconceptions the Greasers have about Soc life. She tells him that although the Greasers believe Socs live a privileged life, the Socs actually have troubles of their own and rough lives. Since Cherry describes how people have misinterpretations about Soc life, she shows that one’s appearance does not always define his or her character because people believe that Socs live a wonderful life without fault, when in reality they face many hardships. While Ponyboy and Cherry walk together, Cherry explains, “All Socs aren’t like that . . . I bet you think the Socs have made it. The rich kids, the West-side Socs. I’ll tell you something Ponyboy, and it may come as a surprise. We have troubles that you’ve never even heard of ” (34). Cherry explains while the Greasers stereotype the Socs as having “made it” or live trouble-free lives, the Socs face issues Ponyboy and the Greasers “have never even heard of” or fail to understand. Cherry’s revelation of the true, troubled lives the Socs live, disproves the townspeople’s assumptions of the Socs, so one’s appearance does not define his or her true nature. Cherry’s explanation of the true Soc life proves that outer looks do not always define a person’s …show more content…
After the fight between the Greasers and Socs, Dally grabs Ponyboy, and they rush to the hospital to see Johnny. When they enter Johnny’s hospital room, Dally starts to cry and tries to comfort Johnny. Ponyboy realizes that he has never seen Dally cry before because Dally acts with toughness in every situation. When Johnny dies, it overwhelms Dally, and he runs off. Dally shows his weakness and compassion through crying and trying to comfort Johnny, instead of following the Greaser stereotype to always act tough and never show any signs of weakness. Since Dally shows his weakness and compassion instead of acting tough, he portrays that one’s outer looks do not define his or her nature. After Dally dies, Ponyboy thinks, “But I remember Dally pulling Johnny through the window of the burning church; Dally giving us his gun, although it could mean jail for him; Dally risking his life for us, trying to keep us out of trouble” (154). The townspeople believe that Greasers only commit awful, evil-spirited acts, but when Ponyboy recalls Dally reveals a his true, courageous and kind-hearted character through rescuing and risking his life for Ponyboy and Dally. Dally’s actions disprove the negative assumptions the townspeople have about the Greasers, which shows that a person’s outer looks do not always define his or her true nature. Dally’s courageous, kind-hearted, and compassionate

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