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The Outsiders is a book about poor teenage kids, greasers, and their conflict with rich kids, Socs. Characters on both sides of the class divide speak words of wisdom about their life circumstances.
In chapter 3, Cherry Valance speaks for the Socs, describing how hard it is to have everything one wants:
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? It seems like we're always searching for something to satisfy us, and never finding it.
Ponyboy Curtis, the main character, describes the greasers' perspective throughout the story. In chapter 12, he reflects that many boys die, as his friend Dallas died, because they have nothing and do not know what they can live for:
I could see boys going down...because they were mean and tough and hated the world, and it was too late to tell them there was still good in it, and they wouldn't believe you if you did.
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