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What is the difference between Tim Shepard's gang and Ponyboy's in "The...

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maryo0om | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2008 at 1:58 AM via web

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What is the difference between Tim Shepard's gang and Ponyboy's in "The Outsiders"?

Explain how they are different.

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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 | eNotes Newbie

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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ryan-ryan-chan | Student | 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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