The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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How did the setting foreshadow the events in chapter 4 of The Outsiders?

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Chapter 4 is an action-packed chapter of the The Outsiders. Johnny and Ponyboy are jumped at the park; Johnny kills a member of the rival Soc gang; and Johnny and Ponyboy go on the run to hide out in an abandoned church several miles away.

The setting at the beginning of the action foreshadows what will happen in several ways. First, Johnny and Pony are in a park. Johnny was in a park (a sports field) when he was jumped and beaten by a gang of Socs in chapter 1. The park in chapter 4 is described as "shadowy and dark." The word "dark," with its dual meaning of "night" and "evil," portends something bad about to happen.

As Pony and Johnny rest and Pony calms down from a fight with his brother, a blue Mustang begins circling the park. The Socs who beat up Johnny in chapter 1 were driving a blue Mustang at the time. The car is mentioned several times in previous chapters, each time indicating that Socs are following and threatening the Greasers.

As five Socs get out of the Mustang and come toward...

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