The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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What are some examples of similes in Chapters 1 and 2 of The Outsiders?

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In The Outsiders S. E. Hinton's protagonist, Ponyboy, is the narrator. He loves to read, and so figurative language comes easily to him. In many of his descriptions, Ponyboy employs similes--comparisons between two people or things that are explicitly unlike using the words like or as--in order to create images in his readers' minds. 

In the exposition of the narrative of The Outsiders, Ponyboy introduces himself and tells the reader about his brothers and their social situation. He explains that a rival group called the "Socs" are the ones with whom they have quarrels. 


--When he mentions the Socs, Ponyboy clarifies this group: 

I'm not sure how you spell it [Socs], 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.

--Ponyboy describes Dallas Winston as being as wild as a member of the harder and tougher inner city gangs: "He was as wild as the boys in the downtown outfits." 

--In describing his brother Darry, Ponyboy observes, "He has dark-brown hair that kicks out in front and a slight cowlick in the back--just like Dad's--"

--Ponyboy describes his brother Sodapop's good looks and compares them to that of a god when he declares, "...he looked like some Greek god come to earth."

--When Soda examines Ponyboy's head after he is attacked by the Socs, he remarks to his brother, "You're bleedin' like a stuck pig."

--After being attacked, Ponyboy describes himself: "I was shaking like a leaf." 


-- "Dallas Winston...looked as hard as nails and twice as tough." 

-- "A snarling, distrustful, bickering pack like the Socs in their social clubs...." The gang of Socs are compared to a pack of animals.

--When Ponyboy is watching a movie, he looks over his shoulder and sees Two-Bit "grinning like a Chessy cat."

--"His eyes were shut and he was as white as a ghost."

--Later, Ponyboy looks over his shoulder and discovers Two-Bit: "Glory, Two-Bit, scare us to death!" Ponyboy explains that Two-Bit is accomplished at voice imitations and, in this case, he "sounded for all the world like a snarling Soc."

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Here are some examples of similes from Chapters 1 and 2 of S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders:


  • "Greasers are almost like hoods." -- Pony compares greasers with hoodlums.
  • "We're almost as close as brothers." -- Pony compares the relationship of his fellow greasers with that of Darry and Soda--his real brothers.
  • "He's got eyes that are like two pieces of pale blue-green ice." -- Pony describing Darry's icy eyes.
  • "He showed me the handkerchief, reddened as if by magic." -- Pony refers to the bloody handkerchief, colored by magic.
  • "They were all as tough as nails." -- Pony compares the greasers' hardness to steel.
  • "Soda attracted girls like honey draws flies." -- Pony is speaking of Soda's good looks.


  • "I was startled to find her as white as a sheet." -- Pony is comparing Cherry's pale facial expression to the color of a bedsheet.
  • "... there was Two-Bit, grinning like a Chessy cat." -- Pony is comparing Two-Bit's grin with that of the cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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