What are your thoughts about Chapter 9-10 of The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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These two chapters serve as two of the most climactic moments of Susan Hinton's The Outsiders. In Chapter 9, the greaser gangs battle it out with the Socs in the scheduled rumble. I found it one of the more exciting parts of the book, especially the description of the Shepard gang and Darry's challenge: "I'll take on anyone." Following the rumble, Pony and Dally rush to the hospital to tell Johnny the good news, but he dies before their eyes. Dally finally breaks in Chapter 10, where he robs a convenience store and commits suicide by cop. Pony's concussion received in the rumble kicks in and he passes out in the street. The chapter ends on a more positive note when Pony awakes and has a brotherly talk with Soda.

The chapters contain more action and violence than any of the others (aside from Bob's death in the park, perhaps) in the book, and two of the main characters die. These are important events, especially for Pony and his later depression, and they serve as the most tragic chapters of the novel.

(These are also among the most exciting scenes in the excellent Francis Ford Coppola  film version of the novel.)

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a really broad question.

When I was a kid, I really liked Chapter 9 because I wanted the Greasers to kick the Socs' butts because I hated the Socs.  Now that I look at the book as an adult, it seems a lot sadder.  It's sad that Darry and his friend have to fight each other just because they're in different gangs from different social classes.  It's sad that Johnny dies.  Because of this stuff, the chapter just does not seem as triumphant as it did when I was a kid.

gsison's profile pic

gsison | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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I was amazed at the details the author included with respect to the fight that took place between the greasers and the socs.  Ponyboy took quite a beating, especially for being one of the smaller boys in the gang.  Darry had to fight his rival,  the school football hero, knowing that he gave up that status in order to take care of his family. 

Ponyboy was a very dedicated friend to Johnny and wanted him to know that they won the rumble.  It was really sad when he got to the hospital ready to tell Johnny the good news then to find out that his condition took a turn for the worse, then to hear Johnny's last words.

I couldn't imagine living life like that as a child or young adult.  Life appears to be on a survival mode type of existence. As an adult, I become upset when I read or hear about violence.  These were two very sad chapters for me to read.

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