The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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

The Socs live in the affluent West Side of town while the Greasers come from the poorer East Side. The public tends to forgive the transgressions of the Socs while Greasers are considered “hoodlums.” Though they come from vastly different backgrounds, both Socs and Greasers are negatively impacted by the stereotyping and conflict that surrounds their two groups.

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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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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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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...

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hmalcolm525 | Student

The geasers are similar to the socs in the way they both can look at the same sun. They are all just humans. The only difference is their money. That shouldn't be the reason they hate each other so much though.

user7870940 | Student

The main differences where money, and their raising. 

Despite their major differences they where remarkably similar. They all had their own problems, they both wanted to be respected, and they all wanted to be happy.

sth135 | Student

The Greasers:

1. Were poor

2. Lived in the East side of town

3. Lived a much less sophisticated style

4. Often got into fights (more  than the Socs)

5. Have greasy hair (I would assume) and have a very bad reputation by society.

The Socs:

1. Were very rich

2. Lived in the West side of town

3. Lived a very sophisticated style

4. Got into fights and got drunk and liked to party

5. Were favored by the public and rarely got caught

italo | Student

The difference between the Greasers and the Socs is that the Socs are middle class people and the Greasers are poor and dirty.

bubbles345 | Student

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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maggiegm | Student

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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ninjasquirrelly | Student

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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vandermade | Student

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

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tasii29 | Student

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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smartypants789 | Student

Well greasers are poor and socs are rich for one.

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krys97 | Student

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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krys97 | Student

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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clairesalama | Student

greasers ware ripped clothing and the socs ware nice clothing

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minna99 | Student

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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tntspeed | Student

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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ryan-ryan-chan | Student

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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youngsonny1001 | Student

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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tatianam | Student

     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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mmori | Student

Read the book!

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alysen31 | Student

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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esaha4 | Student

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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ponyboilover | Student

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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ponyboilover | Student

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

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trapper | Student

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

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neekers08 | Student

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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