The Outsiders is a book that was written by a fifteen year old girl by the name of Hinton and was published when she turned eighteen years old. The novel narrates about two groups which are rivals of each other and these include the Greasers and the Socs shortened to mean the socials, which are separated by their socioeconomic status. The greasers are the members of lower class, while the Socs (socials) are the privileged group. The novel is generally about young children and the ideas in the book shows the actions of real life situation as seen through the Ponyboy's eyes acting as a young greaser caught up in territorial struggles. The conflict is between the rich kids (Socs) and hard underprivileged greaser family and friends. The book is an encouragement to young children who are still hopeful in the latent decency in the midst of hardships (Czajkowski, 2002).
The book narrates a story of hard life of an orphaned boy by the name Ponyboy Curtis who lives on the East side and comes from a low class family and a gang of greasers. The greasers are quiet and people with dreams they are working hard to achieve in their lives. They are full with brotherly love for each other, and show affection for each other. Thus, the greasers are assumed to be the heroes of the story. On the contrary are the socs (socials) who are members of the upper class or the privileged families. The socials have interests in drinking, drive expensive and nice cars and most of the time they undermine or discriminate the greasers by beating them, which as a result led to the death of other three teens.
The story narrated in this novel describes the conflicts experienced because of class differences or the income inequality between the privileged and the underprivileged persons in the society and especially how it affects the young children.
The gangs are the greasers who live on the outside, who value and appreciate their status. The gang group is led by Dallas Winston who is the rudest boy among the greasers, and whose name is not new to crime. They are willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their fellow greasers, the gang group is friendlier while the packs have enough money to spend and even get away with anything they need, but are very rough especially to the gang group. The gangs are members of lower class youth and like to have conflict with the socs or the packs who are privileged boys from wealth families.
Loyalty is a state of being faithful to accomplish a certain task or an obligation or the attitude of being affectionate (Sergel, 1990). Loyalty is shown in this novel through Darry who is the eldest brother in the family and had to give up his education after the death of their parents in a car accident to look after his young brothers so that they do not go to live in the orphanage. The greasers are so united and affectionate to each other that when one of them is attacked by the Socs, they join hands to save him. Even within the Socs group, some members are loyal.
From the story narrated from the novel, Outsiders, we see that each individual has difficulties in life no matter his or her social status; rich or poor, and that either the greasers or the Socs have some similarities that they share. For instance, they both feel pain in case of a problem like death; this is experienced when a teenager from a Socs group was murdered by Johnny a member from the greaser.