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The story itself is multifaceted; that is what makes it a classic in juvenile literature. Ponyboy is the narrator. He lives with his two older brothers after their parents died. The story is about class conflict, prejudice, bullying, stereotyping, fitting in, finding oneself, and much more. Ponyboy is a greaser. Greasers are constantly fighting with the Socs who are the rich kids. One night Ponyboy and his good friend Johnny get jumped by a carload of Socs and Johnny kills one of them. They then go into hiding. Later they save some kids from a fire and Johnny is burned so badly he eventually dies. Many lessons are learned. A great parallel is drawn between the characters of Johnny and Dally.
On eNotes there are multiple summaries of The Outsiders, all of which are a reasonable length. Here is the link: http://www.enotes.com/topics/outsiders/summary
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