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emilyknight7 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel The Outsiders has a number of different themes. One example is class conflict keeps the status quo. This is seen throughout the book, as Greasers and Socs battle one another every chance they get, from Ponyboy nearly getting jumped on his walk home from the movie theater to the final rumble that will supposedly settle things once and for all. It's only when these economic class divisions are put aside, like when Cherry and Pony befriend one another, that there is any real chance of things changing. 

Another theme could be honor and bravery take many forms. Ponyboy sees that both Johnny and Dally are honorable and brave, real examples for old-fashioned Southern gentlemen. Still, the two boys couldn't be more different. Johnny died a child-saving hero and Dally a rotten hoodlum. Still, in examining their lives and deaths, Ponyboy shows how honor and bravery can be demonstrated in vastly different ways.