How is the theme of loyalty evidenced in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Although the greasers are "almost like hoods" who constantly run afoul of the law--stealing cars, holding up gas stations and fighting--they exhibit a loyalty toward one another that sets them apart from the Socs.

We're almost as close as brothers,

Pony tells the reader. Knowing it's unsafe to walk the streets alone with the Socs prowling about, the greasers are always willing to join one another to provide safety in numbers. Pony recognizes this after he is jumped, realizing that Darry, Soda or one of the other boys would have driven or walked along with him. They provide each other emotional support when they are in need; Pony is constantly encouraged by Johnny and his brothers, and Johnny receives pep talks from Pony and Dally. They defend each other against the Socs, both on the streets and in the rumble; and Soda defends Pony during his arguments with Darry. Even Dally is loyal to his friends, admitting to a crime committed by Two-Bit that gets him arrested; leaping into the burning church to save Johnny and Pony; and joining the rumble despite the injuries he received in the fire. The various greaser gangs, such as the Brumley boys and Tim Shepard's crew, unite as one when it comes to battling the Socs. 

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