Outsiders: S. E. Hinton and Hero

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The Outsiders, a novel by S. E. Hinton, delves into the social dynamics between two groups residing on opposite sides of town: the Greasers and the Soc’s (Socials). The Greasers, including Ponyboy, Soda, Steve, Johnny, Dally, Darry, and Two-bit Matthews, are often seen as delinquents from the less affluent east side. Despite their social standing or background, anyone can become a hero through determination and perseverance. A hero is someone who sacrifices themselves for something greater than their own self. This concept is exemplified in Ponyboy’s character within the context of The Outsiders.

Hinton, Ponyboy, the protagonist, and his family of Greasers defy poverty, theft, and criminal activity to aid others, demonstrating that anyone can become a hero regardless of obstacles. Numerous heroes emerge within the greaser gang, although they didn’t begin as such. The greasers were infamous for their tendencies in robbery, gang fights, theft, and driving enhanced old cars – the typical delinquents. The turning point occurs when Ponyboy is attacked by the Socs with the intent of severely injuring him, but Darry, Ponyboy’s brother, steps in and rescues him.

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Darry demonstrates a noble act by standing up for Ponyboy when no one else would, despite the risk of getting badly beaten. This showcases Darry’s sense of responsibility and compassion for others, particularly his family, which aligns with the qualities of a hero. Darry further exhibits these traits by taking care of his brothers after their parents passed away, ensuring they don’t end up in a boys’ home. Additionally, Ponyboy, Dally, and the rest of the greasers display heroism by rushing into the burning building to rescue the children from the fire.

The Greasers became heroes by choosing to save the kids despite the danger to their own lives. Their selflessness in running into the building demonstrates their prioritization of others’ well-being over their own, reflecting a crucial characteristic of heroes. This distinguishes the Greasers as more than just a criminal gang. Particularly, Johnny’s act of saving the children from the fire exemplifies his heroism through his remarkable selflessness.

Johnny made the ultimate sacrifice, enduring great suffering and ultimately losing his life, all for the sake of protecting the children and Ponyboy. Each of Johnny’s actions demonstrated selflessness and held significant value. Johnny’s embodiment of these heroic qualities serves as a testament that anyone, even someone considered a basic hood rat, can become a hero. Furthermore, Johnny displayed immense bravery when he was compelled to take Bob’s life in order to prevent him from drowning Ponyboy. By courageously killing Bob, Johnny ensured his friend’s safety, as it was the only available solution at the time.

Johnny is a person with the rare talent of acting bravely when others require protection, making him an important figure in our society. The world greatly benefits from individuals who serve as role models and selflessly dedicate their lives to causes greater than themselves. Regardless of social status, anyone can become a hero through unwavering determination. S.E.’s novel, The Outsiders, explores this idea.

In Hinton’s novel, Ponyboy and his family of Greasers demonstrate their ability to overcome poverty, theft, and criminal activities by becoming heroes who aid others. Despite being part of a gang involved in stealing and facing economic challenges, Ponyboy’s heroism is particularly impressive. His courageous act of entering the church to rescue the children showcases the extent of his bravery, even though it puts his own life at risk. This transformation from a criminal to a hero illustrates that anyone has the potential to become a hero regardless of their past experiences.

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Outsiders: S. E. Hinton and Hero. (2016, Sep 13). Retrieved from


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