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S.E. Hinton’s Novel The Outsiders Essay

710 words - 3 pages

Stereotyping plays a large role in the events of S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders. The two main opposing groups, the Socs and Greasers, constantly face problems because of the stereotypes associated with their social groups. As seen in the novel, stereotypes and prejudice cause extreme and unnecessary conflicts. Both groups have predetermined opinions of the other, but as the story progresses, many of the characters begin to realize how similar the groups can be. The stereotypes observed in the novel can easily be compared to those in real life. Both the Greasers and the Socs share many of their opinions with the other members of their groups, and this leads to many misunderstandings. In ...view middle of the document...

When Cherry decided to help the Greasers, Ponyboy began to realize that many of the differences he thought existed between the Socs and the Greasers were not as intense as he had once believed. As Ponyboy states when he starts to understand this, “No, it wasn’t Cherry the Soc who was helping us, it was Cherry the dreamer who watched sunsets and couldn’t stand fights.” (Hinton 86). Ponyboy was previously under the impression that all Socs didn’t care about anything, and was surprised when he met Cherry, a Soc who watched the same sunset as he did. The stereotype of Socs being heartless and cruel was all he had seen and heard, so it was hard for him to understand how one could be so different. Ponyboy’s friends felt similarly, and most of them found it even harder to grasp this concept than Ponyboy had. The Greasers were used to judging the Socs as a group, and did not see them as individuals. These group stereotypes are what ultimately caused most of the biggest fights in the novel.
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