How do I write an essay comparing and contrasting the Greasers and Socs in The Outsiders?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A compare and contrast essay comparing the greasers and socs would focus on their behaviors and the relationship to the themes.

To compare and contrast the two groups, begin by establishing definitions.  Then compare similarities and differences.  Use quotations from the book to back it up.

There are different organizational methods you can use.

  1. Introduction
  2. Greasers
  3. Socs
  4. Similarities
  5. Differences
  6. Conclusion

You might also organize it this way.

  1. Introduction
  2. Ways greasers and Socs are alike
  3. Ways greasters and Socs are different
  4. Relationship to theme
  5. Conclusion

The “war” between the greasers and Socs is a class war more than it is a gang war.  The “gangs” are groups of kids affiliated by social class.  Socs are socialites, and greasers are poor.

I'm not sure how you spell it, but it's the abbreviation for the Socials, the jet set, the West side rich kids. It's like the term "greaser," which is used to class all us boys on the East Side. (ch 1)

There are some similar behaviors between the two groups.  First of all, both are territorial.  Second of all, both can be violent.  From Ponyboy’s perspective, the Socs are the violent ones.  He describes them as the instigators, but there is a long cycle of violence at play.

The behaviors of the two girls differ in their motivation, according to Ponyboy.  While Socs are having fun, greasers are just trying to survive.

We're poorer than the Socs and the middle class. I reckon we're wilder, too. Not like the Socs, who jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks… (ch 1)

Another common denominator is that they are both youths.  We are talking about high school aged kids and young adults.

There are many possible things to compare and contrast for this novel.  I have included a link below.


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