Expert Answers
mattbuckley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The classic piece of juvenile literature, The Outsiders possesses many themes. The most obvious of them is the theme of class conflict and segregation. This issue of classes in this society creates the conflict of a boy struggling to find his place in the world and in his life. He feels lost like an "outsider" because he does not entirely fit in with the greasers but he can't be anything else. The world is so limited to him because of this segregation and prejudice. There is also the theme of loyalty. This also lends itself to Ponyboy as he doesn't completely fit in with the greasers, but maintains a confused sense of pride at identifying himself as a greaser. 

amysor | Student

The Outsiders has many themes such as class conflict, search for self, and loyalty. The study guide explains these themes in detail. Check it out!

hmalcolm525 | Student

The theme of the Outsiders is the importance of family.  Johnny didn’t really have a family. His parents beat him up really bad. Pony and his family wanted to stay together. They lost their parents only six months earlier. They didn’t want to lose one another. Two-Bit’s family didn’t care that much about him. The gang was like family to each other. Without one another, the gang would be nothing.

hmalcolm525 | Student

I think that the theme for this story would probably be the importance of families. Johnny had no family that really loved him. This hurt him bad. The Curtises were really close. It showed how important family was to them.

ik9744 | Student

I think the main theme for this book is being pure. In the book Johnny or Johnny-cake mentioned to stay gold a lot before dying in the hospital to Ponyboy. Staying gold means staying pure and good [ex. not turning into Dally].

StephanieRR | Student

The study guide for this book has a list of themes as well as where these themes are present in the story. Here is the link: