Area of Study Essay – The Outsiders Essay Teenagers are shown in a variety of texts to be, violent, disrespectful, disruptive and corrupt. S. E. Hinton’s novel ‘The Outsiders’ reveal teenagers to be juvenile delinquents who are violent and whose only interest is remaining faithful to their gang and its members. The theme of the novel ‘The Outsiders’ as the main characters are explained to be represented as juvenile delinquents who belong to a violent neighbourhood and lawless gangs. The gangs that fight the most are the ‘Greasers’ and the ‘Socs’.
The ‘Greasers’ are tough and as, they steal from the shops, rob cars, jump people, sneak into drive in movies and don’t do well in school. The Greasers wear- long oily hair and scruffy clothes. The Socs are tough, cold- blood and mean trouble-makers. The Soc’s do well in school; the Soc’s wear- short hairs, nice clothes, and have expensive cars. "How'd you like that haircut to begin just below the neck…? " (Dialogue). This reveals that the Socs are attacking Ponyboy and are trying to cut his hair. “What kind of world is it where all I have to be proud of is a reputation for being a hood, and greasy hair? " (Rhetorical Question).
Ponyboy is asking himself that what world he would have to live in to put up with his reputation and having greasy hair. "You get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you... " (Dialogue). Dally is telling Ponyboy that if your get tough like me you won’t have to put up with what you’re going through. The ‘Greasers’ and the ‘Socs’ are juvenile delinquents who fight a lot and this is how teenagers are represented in the novel. Teenagers in the novel ‘The Outsiders’ represented as violent, disrespectful and rebellious. The characterisation of Dallas Winston supports this argument.
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Dally is described through Ponyboy’s first person narration, ‘he lied, cheated, rode in rodeos, he got drunk, jumped small kids - he did everything’. This description of Dally indicates his disrespect for the law and society. Ponyboy uses figurative language to characterise Dally, ‘he had an elfish face, with high cheekbones … small sharp animal teeth and ears like a lynx’. This simile indicates Dally’s tough physical appearance and also his reaction to be animalistic in his behaviour. First person narration indicates Dally’s rebellious past, ‘Dally had been arrested at the age of en’ and ‘blew off steam in gang fights’. It is through the characterisation of Dally and Ponyboy’s first person narration, the novel depicts teenagers as rebellious, violent and disrespectful. Dally behaviour and disrespect for women is exposed in the incident at the drive-ins involving Cherry and Marcia. Dally snuck in to drive-ins because ‘Dally hated to do thing the legal way’. Dally spoke really loudly using offensive language so that the girls could hear, ‘just to embarrass the girls’. Dally continued to disrespect the young women by putting his feet on the back of their seats.
Dally shows no respect for women or the law in this incident and further emphasises the representation of teenagers in ‘The Outsiders’ as arrogant, disrespectful and immature. In the related text, Simple Plan’s ‘Welcome to my Life’ reveals teenagers to be upset, depressed and overwhelmed. Simple Plans ‘Welcome to my life’ says about teenagers that are being bullied all the time and they’re just locking them self’s in there room because of this reason. For example – “To be left out in the dark, To be kicked when you're down, To feel like you've been pushed around, To be on the edge of breaking down, And no one's there to save you”.
This quote of this song is telling us that some teenagers are being put down, being bullied, and don’t want to do what they are going to do because the people that bully them might be at that place and embarrass them there. Your taunted for being different and all you want to do is lock yourself away and scream and rage,' “To be hurt, to feel lost, to be left out in the dark, to be kicked when your down' even after all the disappointment and days people never understand and they still be-little you.
In the end you neither care nor believe that you want to live. Before your life is over. It is through these texts that teenagers are shown to be burden on society. It is trough S. E. Hintons ‘The Outsiders’ and the Simple Plans ‘Welcome to my Life’ that teenager are depicted as rebellious and disrespectful. This representation of teenager’s shapes audience understands of teenagers in a negative way as they reveal all of the terrible aspects of being a teenager.
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