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Compare and contrast the Socs and the Greasers. How are they different? Are there any...

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t7yikt7k | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 15, 2008 at 10:10 AM via web

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Compare and contrast the Socs and the Greasers. How are they different? Are there any similarities?

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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted January 5, 2009 at 9:57 AM (Answer #1)

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The Socials and the Greasers were different in many ways.  There are a few that are obvious and others that are not. First, there is the issue of money.  Socials were rich kids from the  West Side.  Greasers were generally poor and lived on the East Side of town. Then, there is the way they are perceived by the public.  Greasers were seen as unruly and unlawful.  They were looked at as if they were dirty because of their long, greased hair. Socials were seen as good kids who did not get into any trouble. They dressed well and drove nice cars.  Next, greasers liked to go the movies or hang out with their friends.  To them their "gang" was family.  They were known for petty theft and causing other small disturbances. They also liked to smoke cigarettes, drink, and some liked to fight. Socials like to throw parties. They played football or were cheerleaders.  They also drank, but were not looked down on by society. Finally, greasers were very emotional. They felt almost violently. Socials were "cool to the point of not feeling anything". 

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 5, 2009 at 7:32 PM (Answer #2)

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Besides the monetary differences between the socs and the greasers, there is also the issue of appearance as a result of background -- the "greasers" are called such because of the greasy state of their hair. And while it is true that a fashion of the time was to add oil to one's hair, the greasers' "dos" seem to be a result primarily of poor grooming and lack of hygiene.

In contrast, the socs, having come from a more affluent background, have all the benefits of wealth: clean, neat personal appearance, the latest fashions, slick cars, etc. They are the social elite of this novel, whereas the greasers are considered the poorer, second-class citizens. 

Depending upon which of the socs or greasers we are talking about, there are also individual differences in the characters comprising each class or group. For instance, even within the greasers we have sensitive boys and tough boys, just as the socs have a variety of personalities, as well.

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 15, 2008 at 10:31 AM (Answer #1)

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The Greasers are a group of boys who live in the poor part of town, whereas the Socs are a gang that are from the wealthy area of town.

After the movie at the drive in, Ponyboy has a discussion with Cherry Valence about the difference between Greasers and Socs. Based on meeting the two Soc girls, Pony thinks that they are very similar in that they are all teenagers with similar interests, except "They liked the Beatles and thought Elvis Preseley was out, and we thought he Beatles were rank, and that Elvis was tuff. But that seemed the only difference to me" (Chap 3).

Cherry points out that Socs and Greasers have a different set of values, though. The Soc's are aloof, cold and don't show feelings, whereas with the Greasers emotions run high.

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ponyboilover | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 1, 2009 at 5:07 AM (Answer #2)

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The Greasers are often looked down upon. They are known as theifs and bad people. Their hair is full of Grease and they're "tuff".

On the other hand, the Socs are pretty much the opposite. They are seen as happy, good people. They're rich, well dressed and clean.

Also, the two groups come from two very different backgrounds.

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 26, 2008 at 6:26 PM (Answer #1)

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Chapter 2 presents a few ways that Socs and Greasers differ, to add to the general variations outlined in Chapter 1.  Greasers are poor and have "gangs", and Socs are rich and have "social clubs". They hang out in different places -  Ponyboy says that "the Socs go to The Way Out and to Rusty's, and the Greasers go to "The Dingo and to Jay's".

Aside from these details, the main idea of the Chapter is that, despite their differences, there is a lot that is the same about the two groups.  Both Socs and Greasers get in trouble, and they fight, and although it is easy to resort to sterotyping, both groups are made up of unique individuals.  Cherry describes the situation succinctly when she says, "All Socs aren't like that...that's like saying all you Greasers are like Dally Winston".  Cherry also notes that individuals in both groups face hardships in their lives.  She sums it up with the observation, "I'll bet you think the Socs have it made, the rich kids...I'll tell you something...and it may come as a surprise.  We have troubles you've never even heard of...things are tough all over" (Chapter 2).

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neekers08 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 27, 2008 at 4:54 AM (Answer #2)

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The Greasers are on the East side have long hair hang out at the Dingo, and Jay's do not have alot of money like elvis wear jeans and leatherfight cleaner then the Socs and are open about their emotions

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 22, 2008 at 2:30 AM (Answer #1)

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Tim Shepherd's group is an organized gang, while Ponyboy's is more like a group of guys who just hang out together.  Ponyboy explains the difference between the two, saying:

"the difference between (Tim Shepherd's) gang and ours - they (have) a leader and (are) organized; we (are) just buddies who (stick) together - each man (is) his own leader".

Tim Shepherd "enjoy(s) being a hood...the rest of his bunch (are) the same way...young hoods - who would grow up to be old hoods".  They consciously flout their identity as part of a gang, relishing fights and engaging in petty crime.  There is an edge to their personas, and they exist on the outside of accepted social norms.

Ponyboy's gang is more like a family; they keep an open door policy and exist primarily as a means of support for each other when family life or other forces get rough.  It is true that the guys in the group like to fight as well, but for them it has as much to do with youthful energy as it does with rivalry with the other gangs.  The members of Ponyboy's gang follow strict codes of honor and fairness, but Darry, who is their unheralded leader, aspires to achieve better things for his life and the lives of his brothers.  As Ponyboy says, "He's better than the rest of us...he's going somewhere...and I was going to be like him...I wasn't going to live in a lousy neighborhood all my life" (Chapter 9).

 

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trapper | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 22, 2008 at 4:24 AM (Answer #2)

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Tim Shepard's gang is richer than Pnyboy's gang.  Plus Ponyboy's gang is have a brotherly bond.

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esaha4 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 25, 2009 at 10:53 AM (Answer #3)

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well they are different by their ways. Greasers always have soooo much grease in their hair and the socs don't. the socs are rich, and live in a rich neighborhood, and the greasers live in the hoods. They don't have money and nice houses like the socs do.

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tackettmarissa | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 23, 2009 at 7:13 AM (Answer #4)

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how are greasers different from socs?

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 23, 2009 at 7:22 AM (Answer #5)

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The outcome of the novel, after Dallas, Ponyboy and Johnny rescue the children from the burning house on the poor side of town, demonstrates that the judgments made about the different groups can be overcome by individual actions. The Greasers, being poor and known for mischief and disruptive behavior, prove that their ringleaders are compassionate, brave and of good moral character when they risk their lives to help strangers. Cherry, one of the Socs, is a character who manages to make overtures to help bridge the gaps between the two groups, but this happens mainly because both Dallas and Ponyboy are attracted to her. She and Ponyboy discuss the fact that the stars in the sky are visible from both sides of the town they live in, calling attention to their similarities. The title of the novel itself implies one of the groups is made up of outsiders, when in reality, both sides are removed from society because of the various socioeconomic and cultural factors that set them apart.

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alysen31 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 5, 2011 at 1:48 PM (Answer #3)

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Socs are a lot wealthier. Their families are also usually white-collar workers. Greasers are generally poorer and their parents, if they work, are usually blue-collar. Socs are also "smarter" and sportier.

There are different clothing styles as well. For example, Socs wear Madras shirts. They have better hair, a lot less greasier. They also drive nice cars.

There is a bigger lack of parental on Greasers. Also, when Greasers drank, they were looked down at by society. But when Socs dranks, it was suddenly okay for Socs to drink.

Greasers are more emotional than Socs. When Socs say something, they dont believe half of what they are saying and a lot of them are lies.

Socs are more well-liked than Greasers.

 

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tatianam | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 13, 2011 at 4:38 AM (Answer #7)

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     In chapter two, Ponyboy destinguishes the difference between the Socials and the Greasers more than ever. Greasers are poor and have "gangs". Socs on the other hand are rich and have "social clubs". Cherry, also known as Sherri, tells Ponyboy that the Socs are fake. Most greasers are genuine and share their feelings.

     These differences don't effect some true friends such as the relationsips between Cherry and Ponyboy, Marcia and Two-Bit, etc. Even towards the end of the book, Randy, the friend of Bob Sheldon, shows kindness towards Ponyboy and shares his feelings with him.

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youngsonny1001 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 10, 2011 at 3:49 AM (Answer #8)

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This is my interpretation (with commas) of neekers08's answer. (It helped me alot)

 

The Greasers live on the East side, have long hair, hang out at the Dingo and Jay's, do not have alot of money, like Elvis, wear jeans and leather, fight cleaner then the Socs, and are open about their emotions.

 

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ryan-ryan-chan | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 12, 2011 at 8:29 PM (Answer #3)

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The two gangs are quite different. Tim Shepard's gang is very organized, have a leader, strict rules and the are very rough. The carry use dangerous weapons like guns and bicycle chains. Pony's gang is rather like a bunch of friends together, with no official leader, no many rules, not as rough as Tim Shepard's gang and only carry switchblades for self defence. Everybody in the Pony's gang is the leader of himself.

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tntspeed | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 20, 2011 at 10:18 AM (Answer #9)

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remember that they still do have similarities. they're BOTH outsiders, each in their own way, each with their own hardships and problems

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minna99 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:43 PM (Answer #10)

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Ponyboy reflects how the socs have so much spare time and money that they jumped us and each other for kicks, how they have beer blasts and river bottom parties cause they didn’t know what else to do. They are so aloof, and the greasers are pretty emotional. But, there are always some similarities coming out. Like both of the groups are willing to fight for each other, we all have the same sense of humor and both of us love hanging out, and you know, go for a movie or somthin.

 

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clairesalama | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 8, 2011 at 9:47 AM (Answer #11)

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greasers ware ripped clothing and the socs ware nice clothing

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krys97 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 16, 2011 at 7:25 AM (Answer #12)

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the greasers are the ones that dont have as many money and where their hair longer (making them seem more wild) while socials are the ones with money that have a better chance of going places (where more fancy stuff)

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krys97 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 16, 2011 at 7:27 AM (Answer #13)

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sorry with typos i meant they dont have as much money and that the socials have a better chance because they have money

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smartypants789 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted January 7, 2012 at 7:13 AM (Answer #14)

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Well greasers are poor and socs are rich for one.

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tasii29 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 23, 2012 at 6:02 AM (Answer #15)

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The socs are the privileged spoilt kids brought up in rich families.And they live in the west side of town.They often listen tot he Beatles and wear madras shirts,however the greaser are quite the opposite they come from hard knock family background and are very poor there right at the bottom of the status (under class).They like to listen tot the music of Elvis Presley.Greasers are involved or stereotyped as criminals which are delinquents and trouble makers.

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vandermade | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 4, 2012 at 11:33 PM (Answer #16)

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Greasers are the poor kids and Socs are the rich ones.

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ninjasquirrelly | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:04 AM (Answer #17)

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Chapter 2 presents a few ways that Socs and Greasers differ, to add to the general variations outlined in Chapter 1.  Greasers are poor and have "gangs", and Socs are rich and have "social clubs". They hang out in different places -  Ponyboy says that "the Socs go to The Way Out and to Rusty's, and the Greasers go to "The Dingo and to Jay's".

Aside from these details, the main idea of the Chapter is that, despite their differences, there is a lot that is the same about the two groups.  Both Socs and Greasers get in trouble, and they fight, and although it is easy to resort to sterotyping, both groups are made up of unique individuals.  Cherry describes the situation succinctly when she says, "All Socs aren't like that...that's like saying all you Greasers are like Dally Winston".  Cherry also notes that individuals in both groups face hardships in their lives.  She sums it up with the observation, "I'll bet you think the Socs have it made, the rich kids...I'll tell you something...and it may come as a surprise.  We have troubles you've never even heard of...things are tough all over" (Chapter 2).

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maggiegm | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:32 PM (Answer #18)

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greasers are the fast-side poor kids that are more savage than the Socs. On the other hand, Socs are the jet set, west-side rich kids who drink whisky and smoke steel tobacco.

Hope it helps:)

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bubbles345 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM (Answer #19)

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They hang out in different places -  Ponyboy says that "the Socs go to The Way Out and to Rusty's, and the Greasers go to "The Dingo and to Jay's".Im reading the outsiders too for school. That is from Chapter two.

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kcogliano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 18, 2014 at 11:05 PM (Answer #20)

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In the beginning of the novel Ponyboy focuses on how different the Greasers and Socs are. for example, the biggest difference is the socioeconomic status and all the implications that it comes with. The Greasers tend to be poor. They live in the poorer part of town, they don't wear expensive clothing, they're rough around the edges, they're associated with engaging in more criminal activities and drive cars they are able to work on and fix up. On the other hand, the Socs have everything money can buy. They live in the nicer part of town, they have fancy clothes and cars, they do commit crimes, but get away with it because of the influence that comes with their money. They drink a lot, but mostly because they are bored and have everything they could possibly want. However, as stated previously, they do share some similarities. Both groups engage in criminal activities, both groups also deal with problems. In the beginning of the novel, Cherry points this out when she says, "Things are rough all over."

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 29, 2014 at 9:16 PM (Answer #21)

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While they are from differing socio-economic classes, both the Socs and the Greasers suffer from teen angst, among which are the desire for acceptance as individuals as well as having a common identity, a disappointment in adults and society in general, and an attempt to reconcile their individual perspectives with that of others. In addition, they both resent stereotyping. Sadly, both groups have members who, as Jay Daly writes, carry their "innocence/youth/idealism" to the extreme that all of these are transformed into dangerous and detrimental traits.

Each group has its pessimists and its optimists. Cherry Valance sees goodness in Pony and attempts to reconcile the conflicts between the groups, but, unfortunately, she is killed. Others who retain positive attitudes are Soda and Darry, who differ from Johnny and Dally because they survive without losing their goodness, their "goldness." This "goldness" is achieved through their sacrifices and solicitude toward Ponyboy. But, Ponyboy recognizes that, as Frost writes, "Nothing gold can stay" and he achieves at the end a maturity.

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ponyboilover | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 1, 2009 at 4:16 AM (Answer #4)

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I thnk that one thing is the way they dressed and looked.

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mmori | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 5, 2011 at 10:48 AM (Answer #5)

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Read the book!

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