How does being in a gang help the members of the Greasers? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Throughout the novel The Outsiders the Greaser gang is made up of lower class individuals who come from broken homes. The Curtis brothers lost their parents in an unfortunate car accident and Darry, the oldest brother, was forced to work two jobs to support his family. Steve is continually fighting with his father and getting kicked out of his home, and Two-Bit's father left his family when Two-Bit was a child. Dally hates his father and even comments, "Shoot, my old man don't give a hang whether I'm in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter" (Hinton 75). Johnny is the youngest member of the gang, and he is continually abused at home. Each member lacks a family support system and looks to the other members of the gang to fill that void. Johnny is considered the gang's "pet" and comforts each individual when they need someone to talk to. They also rely on each other for shelter, protection, and even financial assistance. At the beginning of the novel, the gang is quick to come to Ponyboy's aid when he gets jumped by a gang of Socs. Darry leaves the door to their house unlocked so the members of the gang can stay at his home whenever they need a place to crash. Also, when Johnny and Ponyboy are on the run, Dally generously provides them with money and a weapon. Ponyboy even mentions that the only reason Darry sticks around their group of friends is because he cares deeply about each member personally. The Greasers essentially rely on one another to make up for the family support they lack at home.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial