What are three major themes of the book?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Three major themes in the novel The Outsiders are class conflict, finding yourself, and loyalty.  The rich Socs who have everything and the poor greasers who struggle for anything material are a perfect example of the differences in the classes of American society.  Like the Socs' Cherry explains, the Socs are rich, sophisticated and much less emotional than the greasers.  The greasers remain themselves throughout the book even though some can see similarities between the two classes.  Ponyboy's search for himself, whether he will be enough for the world as he is, learns that he indeed is enough.  His rescue of the children is golden.  He can put on a tough act with the Socs, but remain one of the boys who still picks up glass so that no one gets a flat tire.  He can still be himself even if he needs to act like a tough greaser.  Loyalty is everywhere in the novel as a theme.  The tough greasers become the family for each of the members especially the youngest two.  The ending when Ponyboy and Darry realize that to survive and do well they need each other,  is a good illustration. For Johnny and Dally, the loyalty is also there.  Even though Johnny dies, Darry is proud of him.  In his grief, Darry also dies in a police confrontation, but again, the loyalty to each other is an illustration of the loyalty theme.