Loyalty in “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

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Loyalty in “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

This essay will explore the theme of loyalty in S.E. Hinton’s novel “The Outsiders.” It will discuss how the characters’ loyalty to their social groups and to each other shapes their identities and actions. The piece will analyze how loyalty is portrayed as both a strength and a source of conflict in the novel’s depiction of youth and social divisions. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Loyalty.

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This novel is about Loyalty because it shows the strong bond The Greasers have, unlike The Socs. The Outsiders was published in 1967 by Viking Press, Outsiders was S.E. Hinton’s first novel. The competition between the “greasers” and the “socs” was based on events in her own high school, the Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When it was released, The Outsider’s representation of troublemakers caused a debate. However, it was very popular among young adults, selling over four million copies in the United States.

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This novel has earned such hype that the pressure caused Hinton to suffer writer’s block for Three years. In this paper, I will give you a look at The Outsiders. The Outsiders is the story of two of the Greasers who come to realize that it’s not always where you live that decides what kind of person you are. Instead of a lie in hopelessness, they find the strength to grow and find the beauty of the world.

Loyalty in the Outsiders

On the other hand, The Outsiders is mainly about a group of teens who have a rivalry against each other simply because if their economic status. The two different gangs are the Socs and the Greasers and the only difference between them is the Socs have a lot of money and the Greasers are poor. The main characters are the Sodapop, Ponyboy, Darry, Johnny, Dally, and Two-Bit Mathews. Ponyboy, Sodapop, and Darry are living in the poor end of town without their parents who died in a car crash. Johnny is an abused child who is the gang’s pet because of his brutal parent and a Soc named Bob jumped him. Socs feel they are better than Greasers and sometimes when not so many Greasers are around they jump them and hurt them usually pretty bad. One day Ponyboy, the youngest brother came home late and the oldest brother, Darry, started to argue with ponyboy and then hit him. Ponyboy ran away with Johnny and got jumped by the Socs. Bob, the Soc was drowning Ponyboy, Johnny got so scared and mad, so he accidentally killed Bob with his switchblade. Ponyboy said, “”We’re poorer than the Socs and the middle class. I reckon we’re wilder, too. Not like the Socs, who jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to the society the next (Hinton, 4).

How is Ponyboy Loyal

Without a doubt, Human life was worth fighting for to Johnny. Not only did he fight to protect his friends, but he fought to protect strangers. Johnny explains,” I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you (Hinton 57). Johnny wasn’t a cold, hard killer. He was simply a scared kid who was fighting to protect his best friend. In his last letter, Johnny expresses, “Listen, I don’t mind dying now. It was worth it. It’s worth saving those kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more to live for (Hinton 178). This shows that he finds the lives of kids he doesn’t even know to worth more value than his own. Johnny knows the value of life, and he fights for it for those around him.

As previously stated, The outsider’ book and movie are completely different but still have some similarities. Like how they both talk about the lives of some other characters, The book and the movie of the Outsiders are two very different stories. The book has so much more detail than the movie. The movie is not the most detailed but it does get its point across. There are many similarities and also many differences between the two the book is by far more interesting and more detailed than the movie. I enjoyed the book a lot and the movies a lot but the movie was missing a lot. A few similarities between the movie and book are that the movie still has the complete Greaser gang Pony, Johnny, Soda, Darry, Dally, Two-Bit, and Steve. They still have some of the more sad parts like when Johnny and Dally die.

In Summary, In The Outsiders Johnny, Darry, and Ponyboy stand up for what they think is the right thing to do, they stress the importance of fighting for purpose in life. Johnny stands up for what is right, when he saves Ponyboy from drowning, and when he runs into a burning building to save innocent children. Darry also fights for what he believes is right, He doesn’t go to college and works to keep his family together. In the same way, Ponyboy fights to cope with the tragedy, He writes a novel helping young teenagers deal with a similar position so that they will realize they have something to fight for in life. These three characters fight, and through their experiences, they understand their purposes in life. Likewise, Readers must also demand their purposes in life by fighting for what they believe in. Through their experiences, they will stand up for what is right and achieve a better understanding and respect for the living.


Hinton, S. E., et al. “The Outsiders Study Guide. GradeSaver: Getting You the Grade, www.gradesaver.com/the-outsiders.”

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Loyalty in "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton. (2020, Jan 28). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/loyalty-in-the-outsiders-by-s-e-hinton/