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The politics of class are discussed in chapter 1.
In the beginning of the book, the narrator Ponyboy describes the difference between the Socs and the greasers. The Socs are more than middle class, and the greasers are “poorer” than they are. Ponyboy admits that the greasers are “wilder,” but he notes a double standard based on class.
Not like the Socs, who 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. (ch 1, p. 3)
Because the Socs come from rich families, they are not persecuted like the greasers are. Ponyboy describes the Socs as doing what they do for “kicks,” whereas the greasers seem to act out of frustration.
Above all, The Outsidersis a book about class and how the situation you are born into affects your life. Ponyboy and the other greasers act the way they do because of a combination of circumstances, but a large factor is their harassment by the wealthy Socs, who do not fight to survive, but rather for fun. Class and politics go hand in hand. People will always be perceived differently because of thier class. This book demonstrates one of the consequences of that.
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