How are the gangs different to real life gangs?
The Outsiders is a coming of age novel that depicts the difficulties of growing up. To be sure it is tragic with the death of two character (Bob and Johnny), but it is a far cry from real gangs in many American cities. Moreover, there is a basic goodness to the novel, which real gangs lack.
For example the wars between gangs like the Bloods and Crips is far worse with hundreds killed. Moreover, the collateral damage is far greater as many innocent people get killed as well. According to estimates there are over 30,000 member in the Crips.These gangs are also organized in their crime with the selling of drugs and other illegal activities.
The newer gangs also have systematic ways to exhort money and they traffic people - a modern form of slave trade. Modern day gangs, in a word, are far worse.