Though the greasers won the rumble, are their problems with the Socs over in The Outsiders?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Despite defeating the Socs in the rumble, the economic situation for the Greasers and tension between the two rival gangs remains unchanged. One of the prominent themes that Hinton explores throughout the novel is the destructive nature of violence. Pony shares several intimate moments with different characters and discovers that...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Despite defeating the Socs in the rumble, the economic situation for the Greasers and tension between the two rival gangs remains unchanged. One of the prominent themes that Hinton explores throughout the novel is the destructive nature of violence. Pony shares several intimate moments with different characters and discovers that violence and fighting do not resolve conflicts. Before the rumble, Randy Adderson tells Pony that he refuses to fight because it will solve nothing for either gang. Randy tells Pony:

"You can't win, even if you whip us. You'll still be where you were before--- at the bottom. And we'll still be the lucky ones with all the breaks. So it doesn't do any good, the fighting and the killing. It doesn't prove a thing. We'll forget it if you win, or if you don't. Greasers will still be greasers and Socs will still be Socs." (Hinton, 98)

Pony contemplates Randy's comments and agrees that fighting will not solve anything. He mentions that the only good reason to fight is in self-defense but chooses to participate in the rumble because he is loyal to his friends. After the Greasers defeat the Socs, Dally and Pony rush to the hospital, where Dally informs Johnny that they beat the Socs. Johnny's response corresponds to Randy's perspective on fighting as he tells Dally,

"Useless... fighting's no good...." (Hinton, 126)

Overall, Hinton explores the destructive nature of violence and illustrates how it does not resolve conflicts. Despite winning the rumble, the Greasers' social status does not change and their lives do not improve. Also, the tension and animosity between the rival gangs remains unchanged even after the rumble.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Of course not.  The Greasers have accomplished nothing that will make any real difference in their lives by winning the fight.  They may feel better temporarily by having 'beaten' their social enemies, but nothing has been done that will effect the social and economic inequalities of society at large.  The social attitudes that seperate the Greasers from the Soc's are not surmountable by punching one another.  Ponyboy grasps this instinctively, as does Johnny when he hears the news.  The only things that will change one's life are decisions made internally, the decision to "stay gold."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team