What does The Outsiders demonstrate about the nature of appearances?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Outsiders" is a novel that demonstrates quite a bit about the nature of appearances. Through a close examination of the characters and the two different social groups -- the Greasers and the Socs -- it is clear that outward appearance is not always what it seems to be. Looking at the appearance of the Greasers, one would think that they are complete hoodlum animals who have no care or regard for anything. However, looking at the character of them in more depth, the reader can see that they are only that way because they are a product of the society that they came from and do not really feel the way that they are sometimes forced to act. It is true that these characters seem to fight quite often but this is because they have no choice because they have to fight for their territory and in order to stand up to those who try to put them down. On the same token, if the reader looks at the outward appearance of the Socs, he/she sees rich kids who dress well and drive nice cars; but at the same time, the male Socs are mean and nasty boys who torture the Greasers continuously. Cherry Valence explains the difference between the two groups to Ponyboy in Chapter 2. If you look at the actual personalities of characters like Ponyboy and Johnny and compare them to Bob , for example, the reader can see the difference in appearance and reality.

ponyboilover | Student

Usually, people are judged by their appearances. popular kids are seen a certain way and "losers" are seen another way. Not to say that this is right, but it's just the way that society is built-Especially in high school.

cocobutter101 | Student

appearace isnt so important that you should jundge someone....everyone does it, though. so get to know the person. not everyone is who they seem....(: