How are the Socs more of a disgrace and menace to society than the greasers in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Although both groups of boys spend most of their free hours breaking the law and engaging in gang fights, it is the Socs' wealth and higher social standing that is most infuriating. Unlike the greasers, who live on the wrong side of the tracks, are mostly poor, and come from broken homes, the Socs have everything going for them. They mostly come from two-parent homes, drive nice cars, wear fashionable clothes, and are given the freedom of which teens can only dream. Yet the Socs focus much of their attentions on their hatred of the greasers, jumping them in larger numbers and cruising through the greasers' neighborhoods hoping to cause trouble. According to Cherry, the Socs are cold and detached--"sophisticated--cool to the point of not feeling anything."

"Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted? So that you couldn't want anything else and then started looking for something else to want?  (Chapter 3)

The Socs "don't feel anything and we feel too violently." Instead of taking advantage of their good fortune, the Socs "get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next." Only Randy and Cherry seem to recognize the error of their ways: Cherry sympathizes with the greasers even after her boyfriend, Bob, is killed, while Randy decides to skip the rumble and suffer the scorn he knows will come from his friends. (In a later S. E. Hinton novel, Randy turns up as a peace-loving hippie, abandoning his Soc roots.)


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