The book ‘The Outsiders’ was written by S. E. Hinton and published on April the 24th 1967, there is a film adaption of the book that was made in 1983. This book is representation of what 1950’s America was like at the time. There were two main social groups of the time, The ‘Socs’ and the ‘Greasers.’ This book is narrated by Ponyboy, the main character. We follow him through his journey as he realises who he is and what he has to do to survive. He is an illustration of a normal 14 year old greaser who has many struggles, financial, emotional and physical. This story has a few themes however the one I shall be writing about is social groups. Social groups are more than just groups they are barriers, preventing people from interacting with each other because of their social status.
All over the world there are different social groups, this day and age there are still social groups. In America during the 50’s there were a few socials groups but two prominent groups were the ‘Socs’ and the ‘Greasers.’ The Socs were the rich kids who were the school populars, they were wealthy and had it all given to them. Then there were the Greasers, they were the poor ‘white trash’ who struggled financially and were normally in gangs or had gang related affiliations. As said before social groups are barriers to intersocial communication, that is why when Ponyboy meets Cherry (A Soc) he is surprised and finds her different to his expectations. His expectation of Cherry was based on a prejudice he has formed from other Soc’s he had previously meet. Social barriers prevent people from making an honest judgement of someone instead they form a prejudice against them because they do not truly know.
In the story mostly the only times the Socs and Greasers interacted was for fighting, their social status and financial status prevented them from trying to communicate in a respectful manner.
Ponyboy was a greaser who had two older brothers and many friends, who were all greasers. Ponyboy had many interactions with the Socs and by the end of the story he realised that they are not too dissimilar. Then Ponyboy meets Cherry who is a Soc and he likes her and realises not all Socs are the same, just how Greasers aren’t all the same. Ponyboys view on the Socs is constantly changing throughout the story, he realises they are all human after all and are not too different.
Social groups are still prominent today, social groups today are based more on the group to whom you associate yourself as opposed to financial status. There are social groups such as the Socs today however they are generally referred to as the populars and they are not based in that group because of their financial position. Ponyboy had moments during the story where he thought that Socs were no different, after talking to Randy he viewed him differently.When Ponyboy is asked what did the Soc say? He replies “He’s not a Soc he’s just a guy.”
Social groups are a barrier that was prominent is yesterday’s society and today’s, it prevents people from different groups from socialising and affiliating with each other. Social groups are a barrier that should not exist, people should not be judged or controlled because of a social group. They should be free to socialize with anyone they want and they should not be subject to prejudice. Social groups give people a reason to judge someone without knowing them, in this day and age we do not need any more judgement than what we already get. Ponyboy realised that social groups are a barrier and he tried to overcome it, he realised that we all watch the same sun rise and the same sun fall. Regardless of our social group we all live in this society, why can’t we all be social with each other and be accepted regardless of social group?