Summary: Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else, besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect-until the night someone takes things too far….Read more.
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Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1965, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, was originally published in 1967. The author began the novel at age 15, and completed the majority of the novel at the age of 16.
The plot follows the story of two rival gangs, The Greasers and The Socs.
The book opens by presenting Ponyboy Curtis, a member of The Greasers:
When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.
The following day, Ponyboy goes to a drive in theatre with Cherry, a girl from the other gang, and is quickly enamored. Tensions rise between the groups after this and the Socs eventually try to drown Ponyboy.
While trying to escape from drowning, Ponyboy stabs Bob, a rival member, and accidentally kills him. The Greasers then retreat and Dallas, one of the leading members, gets ready for a gunfight.
The group soon finds that their local church, and a popular meeting spot for them, caught fire, and a part of the roof fell and injured Johnny. Although the boys are regarded as local heroes for helping to put out the fire, they are also charged with murder for killing Bob earlier in the story.
The novel ends as the boys return back to school, and Ponyboy faces deteriorating academic situation as his grades drop. He finds a note from Johnny about how proud he was after the incident with the fire, telling him to “Stay gold,” and Ponyboy begins to write an essay.
The books ends as Ponyboy begins his essay with the first lines of the novel:
When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the dark of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.