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The Outsiders Approach Paper

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The Outsiders Approach Paper

The novel, "The Outsiders," by S.E. Hinton, tells a story about 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis and his brothers, Sodapop and Darry, and how there lower-class gang of "greasers" battle the "Socs," the rich kids. The main characters, Ponyboy and Johnny, both greasers, are jumped by the Socs one night but after Bob, part of the Soc gang, begins to drown Ponyboy, Johnny stabs Bob to death in defense to save his friend, after fleeing away with Ponyboy out of town to a church, hoping to avoid any consequences for his crime. The church catches fire a few days later after the boys had been hiding out in it, killing Johnny, but also leaving Ponyboy to come home to his town where the greasers and Socs hold a big fight to settle there differences, resulting in the victory of the greasers. Ponyboy is extremely upset about the death of his good friend, and later Darry also, that he becomes depressed but soon realizes that he's not alone in the world and he's surrounded by a loving family.

Ponyboy: Young, bright, shy, kind, thoughtful, innocent

Johnny: Hushed, modest, nervous, sympathetic

Dally: Tough, thick-skinned, protective, uneducated, caring

Darryl: Hard-headed, defensive, well-liked, wise

1. Cherry loved Bob and helped Ponyboy's group. What do you think of her? Why? Would you do the same thing? Explain.

2. When Johnny was in the hospital, and wrote the letter to Ponyboy, what did he mean by "gold"?

3. Darry was raising Ponyboy and Sodapop because their parents were dead. Do you think this is right? Would the boys have been better off in foster care? Why?

Johnny: "Ponyboy."

I barley heard him. I came closer and leaned over to hear what he was going to say.

Johnny: "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold. . ." the pillow seemed to sink a little, and Johnny died. (Page 148, the Outisders)

As he lies dying in Chapter 9, Johnny speaks these words to Ponyboy. "Stay gold" is a reference to the Robert Frost poem that Ponyboy recites to Johnny when the two hide out in the Church. One line in the poem reads, "Nothing gold can stay," meaning that all good things must come to an end. Johnny advises Ponyboy to remain gold, and innocent, keeping out of the trouble that their name of a greaser comes with. Johnny senses the uselessness of fighting after realizing the conflicts that will always come with it. He knows that Ponyboy is better than the ruthless greaser he's labeled as, and he wants Ponyboy to hold onto the golden qualities that set



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