Ponyboy is the narrator who tells a story of two gangs and the hatred between the two groups. He is a member of a street gang. The members of this gang call themselves Greasers and live in families of workers. Greasers hate another gang, Socs, who are children of wealthy parents. Ponyboy is a teenager who faces a lot of problems. Two of Ponyboy’s friends die, and he sees a lot of violence in the streets. He takes part in many violent acts. All these events and experiences help Ponyboy to develop into a new person. In the course of the novel, the main character becomes a better person who has learned important lessons about violence, death, friendship, love, and life.
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At the beginning of the story, Ponyboy is a typical teenager who has problems at school and who wants to break the rules. He is a member of a gang of Greasers. Ponyboy’s family is not wealthy, but the teenager still understands that there is beauty in the world. Ponyboy takes part in many fights and sees a lot of violence. However, he cannot live such a life, and he suffers. He understands that wars and violence can never help teenagers to find their ways in their lives. Nevertheless, he still takes part in the gang’s activities as he feels he must do this (133). He feels he cannot leave, so he helps his friends even if he believes that fights are wrong. He is still a part of the gang, and he thinks that violence is a part of their life.
However, one horrible event becomes a turning point in his life. Ponyboy’s friend dies, and this death makes the teenager understand everything. Ponyboy remembers, “He told me to stay gold” (Hinton 152). These words help him know that he must change. He has noticed that the fights make the thing worse. He has witnessed that friends become enemies because of the divide. The death of another member of his gang made Ponyboy understand one more thing.
He said he lost two friends, “one a hero, the other a hoodlum” (Hinton 154). These two deaths show that gangs kill young people even if their hearts are gold and even if they can understand the beauty of the world. Thus, teenagers enjoy sunrises and poetry and think that they are “beautiful” (Hinton 77). After his friends’ death, Ponyboy understands that it is time to stop violence, and it is better to start living. He starts making things right, and his first step is writing an essay about his experiences.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that Ponyboy becomes a better person throughout the novel. He understands that violence can never solve problems. He also understands that he should start living. Ponyboy understands that everyday life is full of beauty, happiness, and joy, and life in a gang can lead to misery and death. It is possible to state that Ponyboy grows up and he will leave the band to start an everyday life. The novel is a story of Ponyboy’s evolution. He tries to break the rules of society at the beginning, but he understands that these rules make life better at the end of the story. He becomes an adult who is responsible and resolute. He has learned his lessons, and he will definitely enjoy his life as he understands that there are so many beautiful things to live for.
Hinton, Susan Eloise. The Outsiders. New York, NY: Puffin Books, 1997. Print.