The Ousiders Essay – Sodapop Curtis In S. E Hinton’s novel, The Outsiders, there are many themes represented in the book, but one of the main themes is social ostracism, or the conflict between the economic classes. There are two rival gangs within The Outsiders: the Socs and the Greasers. The Socs represent the upper class while the Greasers represent the lower class. The Socs, “jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next. The Greasers, who are on the low social economic side, “steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while. ” The conflict between the rich and the poor goes even further than economics and goes to values too. This is said through Cherry, herself a member of the Socs. “You greasers have a different set of values. You’re more emotional. We’re sophisticated—cool to the point of not feeling anything. ” As you can see, these two groups are divided by these differences. In this conflict of this gang, there is Sodapop Curtis, a greaser.
Ponyboy’s happy-go-lucky, handsome “movie-star good looking” brother. Sodapop is 16 years old and the middle Curtis boy of the family. Ponyboy envies Sodapop’s good looks and charm. His best friend is Steve Randle, has been his best friend since grade school. Sodapop plans to marry Sandy, a greaser girl. His two brothers, Darry and Ponyboy Curtis, who are also greasers. They are on the lower end of economics and they have to work very hard for money to keep up a house and support Ponyboy through school (Darry and Soda both quit).
Sodapop gave up his education to work at a DX gas station and uses the money he makes (though not much) to support the family. As Sodapop is a greaser, he is a part of the conflict of the gangs, getting into fights/rumbles at times. In S. E Hinton’s novel, The Outsiders, Sodapop is portrayed as a free, caring and respecting character. Sodapop has a very clear love of freedom that becomes unmistakable throughout the novel. He is a very outgoing, happy person, who sees the good in everything, and we recognize this more as we get further into the novel.
When Ponyboy provides insight into Soda’s personality, he says, “he’s always happy-go-lucky and grinning… Sodapop’ll never grow up at all. ” (Page 7) It is clear to us, that Soda loves being free and having a good time. There is a moment, where Ponyboy sums up Sodapop’s whole personality in a few words, saying, “I had to grin at him – Soda can make you grin no matter what. I guess it’s because he’s always grinning so much himself. ” (Page 12) We instantly know that Soda always sees the bright side of things, and doesn’t ‘sweat the small stuff. Being free is very important as if Soda wasn’t, he would not have his optimistic personality and would be burdened immensely. Respect is a very important ideal that Sodapop conveys through his personality. Soda is someone who his friends confide in, quite a lot throughout the novel, and we begin to see him as a very wise person, who has a lot of advice to give. There is one incident, where he and Ponyboy are lying in bed, when Soda says, “When Darry hollers at you… he don’t mean nothin’. He’s just got more worries than somebody his age ought to…
It’s just because you’re the baby – I mean, he loves you a lot. Savvy? ” (Page 18) This is Soda’s attempt to make peace between Darry and Ponyboy, and his advice is a treasured tool that Ponyboy finds very enlightening. When Ponyboy and Darry were fighting one night, Soda got distressed and ran out. Ponyboy then began to think about Soda’s problems and how he had never listened to them, he just talked about his own. He thought to himself “How many times had Soda started to tell me something… He would always listen to me, no matter what he was doing. (Page 124) This is the point where Ponyboy realized that he took Soda for granted, and never really listened to him, even though Soda would drop everything for him. We learn that Soda is a very gentle and thoughtful individual, who listens to people’s problems and would do anything to fix them. If it weren’t for this trait, Soda would be a rude, hated person that no one can care for, and vice versa for Soda. An important aspect of Soda’s personality is his love and caring for those around him.
The most important people in Sodapop’s life are his brothers, Darry and Ponyboy, and he would go to the end of the earth to help them. When their parents passed away, all three of the boys were greatly affected, but Soda tried to keep things as normal as possible for Ponyboy. When Darry is explaining to Ponyboy how he got his concussion he says, “You got a concussion from getting kicked in the head – Soda saw it… I’ve never seen him so mad. I think he could have whipped anyone, in the state he was in… (Page 113) This conversation makes us realize how much Sodapop wants to protect Ponyboy, and his very deep love for his younger brother. He feels obliged to look after, and stick up for Ponyboy, his ‘kid brother. ’ After the rumble, when Ponyboy recovers from his concussion, he and Soda have a discussion about what happened while Ponyboy was delirious. Soda told Ponyboy “The doctors told us we were going to end up in the hospital ourselves if we didn’t get some sleep. But we didn’t get any anyway. (Page 115) When Sodapop says this, we realize how much Ponyboy means to Soda and we feel sympathetic towards him and his brothers because of what they have been through. His family, although small, is Sodapop’s highest priority, and we view him as an extremely compassionate person who loves his brothers a lot. If Sodapop never had this trait, he would be “dead” like Dally, hardened up, emotionless and unable to care about anyone else, just looking after himself. Sodapop Curtis, from ‘The Outsiders,’ was constructed by the author, S.
E Hinton, so that we see his values in a positive way. His principles become more obvious to us as we read the novel, and we discover that Soda is a very respectful character, who the other characters feel they can openly talk to. He is a caring family man that does all he can to support his brothers and the gang. We know that he values his family and his freedom immensely. When Ponyboy is explaining Soda’s personality to us, his love of freedom becomes obvious. Ponyboy describes Soda very well, saying, “he’s always happy-go-lucky and grinning…
Sodapop’ll never grow up at all. ” (Page 7) This statement best describes Sodapop and explains to us in a few words, Soda’s whole personality, and we know that he loves having fun, and not being tied down with commitment. Sodapop Curtis, as an individual, is someone that a person you can really have a connection with, and is a portrayal of someone a person should try to be. Throughout the book you can realize he has a truly inspirational personality, and love his qualities and values.