The only lines that divide us are the ones we draw In our society today people are constantly divided into categories ranks and labels It is our natural human character to judge classify and categorize every person if we know them or not When S E Hinton s novel The Outsiders first hit the hands of readers in 1967 it told the story of the real world The real world that continually divided and labeled every person and group contrary to anything that had been written about before In 1920s Tulsa Oklahoma there is a line running down the middle of the city dividing it into the east and west sides This line is more than a simple city boundary but a line that separates the blue Mustangs from the stolen souped up Chevys This line separates the button up tops and khakis form the ripped jeans and plaids But most importantly it separates two gangs These gangs are known to be as the Socials and the Greasers Ponyboy Curtis and his brothers live and belong to the Greasers and with that comes the daily struggles of living in poverty and fighting against Socs Not only do they fight the west side but they must defeat stereotypes labels and harsh social views When Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny Cade end up with a murder on their hands it not only affects them their friends and the people around them but teaches them how sometimes the only line between them is city lines In the novel
The Outsiders by S E Hinton gangs are important to the Socs and Greasers because they create a sense of family administer guidance through difficult times and back them up no matter the repercussions To the teens of Tulsa many of them lack crucial family figures in their own homes no matter which side of the city line they live on The gang members provide that sense of family that replaces the empty position at home For instance Dally the main leader of the Greasers says when talking to Johnny Shoot my old man don t give a hang whether I am in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter Hinton 88 This represents that they all struggle to find love at support at home so they seek that kind of relationship through their friends Along with Dally Johnny does not have an appropriate father figure so he seeks that through the gang members While Johnny is talking to Dally he says did my parents ask about me No snapped Dally your parents didn t what do they matter Hinton 88 At home Johnny lacks sufficient family figures and the gang provides that for him The Socs on the contrary for the most part have people at home who care However they still rely on their friends for support through times their family could not understand or offer support in These situations embody the idea that all the characters at some point rely on the other gang members in hopes they can replicate the family figures they lack in their own homes For the Socs difficult times come in waves from time to time But for the Greasers they are drowning in them Society looks at them more than just a few greasy haired guys with jeans and madras shirts They view them as unimportant unworthy and worthless With nobody else behind them the Greasers and Socs depend on their gang members to support them through difficult times Johnny says at one point Dally ll get us outa here Dallas Winston could do anything Hinton 58
This excerpt shows us that they knew even in the hardest of times they had someone who could help them through Dallas Winston stood in the big brother position for all of them as he helped them without judgment For the Socs they always kept looking to Randy and Bob to lead them through anything that came their way When people today encounter problems they think of what would happen to them in the future But for the Socs and Greasers many of them do not even have a future in mind Some for example Darry Curtis do not even think they could have a future due to their stance in society and role of taking care of their siblings As a result of this they focus their time on helping their friends in the present no matter the repercussions These are just a few examples of how the Socs and Greasers depend on their gang members to administer guidance through tough times Through lines categories and labels the Socs and Greasers will never be equal It is natural human nature to classify and divide ever person by what they have and do For the Greasers they will never have the respect and authority of the Socs from their parents teachers or society altogether No matter who they are who they love or who they save due to society they will never get the respect they deserve They all look to their gang members as the only thing they have They look at their gang members as the only ones that will believe them Believe they have the future For they may be the only ones in the world who believe that As Randy would say You can t win Even if you whip us And we'll still be the lucky ones Greasers will still be greasers and Socs will still be Socs
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