In The Outsiders, what is difference between Shepard's Gang and Ponyboy's? Why does Pony feel this difference might give his group the upper hand ?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 9, the Greasers meet up with a few other local gangs in hopes of defeating the Socs during the big rumble. When the Greasers arrive at the location of the rumble, Tim Shepard and the Brumly boys are waiting for them in the vacant lot. Ponyboy mentions that Tim Shepard and his gang enjoyed being "hoods," and he believes that they would only become worse individuals as they grew older. Ponyboy then mentions that Tim was the leader of his group and his gang members were used to obeying his strict orders. Pony says,

"That was the difference between his gang and ours—they had a leader and were organized; we were just buddies who stuck together—each man was his own leader. Maybe that was why we could whip them." (Hinton, 118)

In Ponyboy's opinion, the Greasers have the advantage over Tim Shepard's gang because the Greasers are a bunch of individuals, who take responsibility for their own actions and have the freedom to do as they please during rumbles. Each Greaser is his own leader and does not have to rely on one person's authority. The boys are also close friends and will fight for each other for the right reasons—not simply because a leader gave them instructions. Being buddies and having individual responsibilities would give the Greasers the upper hand in a head-to-head match up with Tim Shepard's gang. 

dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy says that the Shepherd Gang "had a leader and were organized", while Ponyboy's group "were just buddies who stuck together - each man was his own leader". Ponyboy thinks, "maybe that was why we could whip them" (Chapter 9). Ponyboy is saying that when you're fighting for something that you personally care about and that is important to you - ie: the love and well-being of a brother - you are a more effective fighter than if you were part of a group (gang or organization) and were just doing what was expected of you, or following orders. Each member of Ponyboy's "gang" had a personal stake in the fight, and that gave them the upper hand.

qaz47 | Student

Ponyboy says that the Shepherd Gang "had a leader and were organized", while Ponyboy's group "were just buddies who stuck together - each man was his own leader". Ponyboy thinks, "maybe that was why we could whip them" (Chapter 9). Ponyboy is saying that when you're fighting for something that you personally care about and that is important to you - ie: the love and well-being of a brother - you are a more effective fighter than if you were part of a group (gang or organization) and were just doing what was expected of you, orfollowing orders. Each member of Ponyboy's "gang" had a personal stake in the fight, and that gave them the upper hand.

dbell17 | Student

thxsssssssss

anne021 | Student

I NEED THE ANSWER TOO THOUGH IM IN 7TH GRADE. BTW THE ANSWER DOWN THERE IS WRONG

 

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The Outsiders

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