The Book Review “Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton is about, a gang going through a lot of drama and trauma only to lose the one person who could hold their gang together, Johnny. In The Outsiders, two members of the Greasers gang, Johnny and Ponyboy, get into a fight with some members of the Socs, their rival gang. They kill one of the Socs and go on the run. One character that stands out in the story is Johnny because he causes the main conflict in this novel. Through Johnny’s miserable, brave, and thoughtful life, he learns that you begin to lose your innocence when you experience the harsh realities of the world. Johnny can be described as miserable for many reasons. One example that shows Johnny’s misery is when Ponyboy was talking about how Johnny’s parents neglected and abused him. On page 12, S. E. Hinton states “He would have ran away a million times if we hadn’t been there.” This shows that the whole gang helps Johnny through hard times with his parents. Another example of Johnny’s unhappiness is when Ponyboy and Johnny went to the fountain after Darry hit Ponyboy. According to the novel on page 51, Johnny says. “ At least you got Soda, I got nobody.” Therefore, Johnny believes that nobody cares for him even though the whole gang cares about him. From these examples, it is clear that Johnny isn’t happy, because he thinks that he is all alone and nobody is there for him. Not only does Johnny display sad behavior he also proves to be brave. This is apparent when he rushed back into the church in order to save the children from the fire. Hinton states “Johnny looked over his shoulder and saw the door was blocked by flames, then paused opened the window and tossed out the nearest kid.” on page 92.

This reveals Johnny’s bravery by running back into the church to help those children and Ponyboy. Another example is when Johnny killed Bob in order to save Ponyboy. On page 57, Johnny says “ I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you..” This shows that Johnny will do whatever he can to save himself or others. Readers can see that Johnny is very courageous by doing all of these life-risking activities in order to help others. The final and most important description that Johnny has is his thoughtfulness. For instance, in chapter 5, when Johnny and Ponyboy run away to Windrixville and they were in the abandoned church Ponyboy says “ A paperback copy of Gone with the Wind! How’d you know I always wanted one?’ Johnny redenned. I remembered you sayin’ something bout it once.” on page 71. In just a few actions, Johnny showed how much he cared for Ponyboy, and that he does listen to others. In another scene, Johnny shows his attentive behavior again when he was talking to Ponyboy before he died. His last words were “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…” on page 148. All in all, he was taking into consideration the poem that Ponyboy told him. Johnny told Ponyboy to “stay gold” because he wanted Ponyboy to know that he had been thinking about Pony and the poem that he told Johnny. Hinton leaves readers with the definite impression that Johnny is very much caring towards his friends and others. In the novel The Outsiders, Johnny learned that you can lose your innocence very quickly through having to kill Bob, being abused by his parents, and having to go on the run. By living through all of those harsh realities of the world, Johnny learns that your innocence is very important and you should do whatever you can, in order to keep your innocence for as long as you can. Ultimately, you should never wish your childhood away or wish to grow up, because you don’t know what you’re going to encounter when you’ve grown up.

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