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Book Report: Curtis Essay, Research Paper Book Report On The Outsiders Author: S.E. Hinton Character Analysis: Ponyboy Curtis - Ponyboy is a fourteen-year-old member of a gang called the

Book Report: Curtis Essay, Research Paper

Book Report On The

Outsiders

Author: S.E. Hinton Character Analysis: Ponyboy Curtis -

Ponyboy is a fourteen-year-old member of a gang called the

Greasers. His parents died in a car accident, so he lives alone

with his two older brothers, Darry and Soda. He is a good

student and athlete, but most people at school consider him a

vagrant like his Greaser friends. Sodapop Curtis – Soda is

Pony’s handsome, charming older brother. He dropped out of

school to work at a gas station, and does not share his

brothers’ interest in studying and sports. Darrel Curtis – The

oldest of the Curtis boys, Darry is also the acknowledged

leader of the Greasers. Johnny Cade – Johnny is Pony’s

closest friend and the gang’s pet. They are especially

protective of him since he is smaller than the rest, his father

beats him, and he is afraid to walk the streets alone after being

attacked by a group of Socs. Cherry Valance – Cherry is from

the richer part of town and associates mainly with the Socs,

but she befriends Pony and the other Greasers and gives them

information about the Socs. Bob Gardner – Bob is Cherry’s

boyfriend. Johnny murders Bob to stop him from killing

Pony. Dallas Winston – A member of the Greasers, Dally has

spent time in prison. He helps Johnny and Pony by telling

them to go to Jay Mountain to hide out and by giving them

money. Two-Bit Mathews – The Greasers’ oldest member. He

acts like a mentor or mascot to the Greasers. Steve Randle -

Soda’s best friend and another member of the Greasers.

Summary: The Outsiders is a coming-of-age story about a

group of boys engaged in a dangerous feud with the wealthier

residents of their town. The narrator, Ponyboy Curtis, is a

teenager who lives alone with his two brothers. He is

interested in academics and sports, but does not receive the

same respect and treatment granted to the wealthier kids, who

belong to a different gang called the Socs. Pony has long hair,

which he greases; he knows that people consider him a

juvenile delinquent based on his appearance. Pony is not

content with his situation; he worries that his brother does not

want to take care of him and constantly fears attacks by the

Socs. Things get much worse, however, when he and his

friend Johnny go to a park late at night. The Socs attack them

there and dunk Pony’s head in a fountain, long enough to

make him unconscious and almost drown him. When he

wakes up, he realizes that one of the Socs is dead, and that

Johnny killed him. The two boys run away with the help of

their friend Dally, who tells them to go to an abandoned

church on Jay Mountain. They hide out for a week, and then

Dally comes to find them. Johnny wants to go back to turn

himself in, but as they head back to the church they see that it

has caught fire. A group of schoolchildren is there on a field

trip, and a few of the children remain locked inside the burning

church. Pony and Johnny break the window and rescue the

children as the fire spreads. Pony is able to climb back out,

but Johnny is hit with a piece of falling timber and burned

severely. The boys are written up as heroes in the newspaper,

even though they are still wanted for murder. Johnny is badly

injured and will never walk again, if he lives. Meanwhile the

Greasers are scheduled to fight the Socs. The Greasers win

the fight, and Dally and Pony go to the hospital to tell Johnny

the good news. He dies during their visit. Dally runs off

heatedly, and later calls Pony’s house to say that he has

robbed a store and is being chased by the police. They go to

meet him, but watch him pull a gun on the cops and fall back

and die as they fire at him. Pony moves on with his life, after

being acquitted in the Soc’s murder case. He is never the

same, however, and the memories of past events still haunt

him. Finally, as an assignment for English class, he writes

down the story of what happened. Final Analysis: The

Outsiders is a story of rebellion, youth, and heroism. It

focuses on an endless, senseless conflict between two groups

of young people and the problems that result. Its main

character, Ponyboy, watches his world slowly fall apart as the

battle between the groups rages around him. The use of a

first-person narrator gives the reader a sense of belonging to

the greasers, encouraging sympathy for their struggle.

Ponyboy is a strong, sensitive, intelligent young person who

cares very deeply about his friends and brothers. He often

faces danger, and what he wants most is a sense of security

and stability. Instead, events spiral towards an inevitable

tragedy, and Ponyboy must accept his own powerlessness.

The Greasers are young men who refuse to accept the

subordinate position that society has given them. The Socs

mock the Greasers and the adults in town overlook them:

rather than accept their status and live in peace with the

wealthier citizens of town, the Greasers seek respect and

rebellion. They are proud, strong-willed people who know

they deserve better. The result is a life of constant conflict and

ever-present danger. At the end of The Outsiders, Pony is

transformed from greaser into a writer. He learns to express

his resentment and anger through more creative means, no

longer resorting to violence. He is able to share his story with

an authority figure, his English teacher, who does not belong

to his crowd. The universal message of The Outsiders is that

peace can come through understanding, communication, and a

willingness to move beyond violence to resolve conflicts.

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