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There are two gangs of teenagers in the novel The Outsiders--the Greasers from the East Side of town and the Socs (short for Socials) from the West Side of town. The two groups differ in almost every way. First of all, they come from two different social classes. The Greasers are poorer than the Socs; they dress differently and come from very different backgrounds and experiences. The Socs would be the popular kids in school; the Greasers the hoods in school. The Greasers are the outsiders in this story because they don't belong to the conservative society of the time. They play by different rules because they have to in order to survive. They ban together as a group because they have to protect each other. The Socs ban together to party and have fun. The Greasers are not accepted by the "normal" mainstream crowd but are looked at as below or not as good as the Socs because of their economic status. For example, Ponyboy is being raised by his brothers, Darrel and Sodapop, after losing their parents in a car accident. It's a non-traditional family, unlike the Socs who live in a more nuclear family environment. Even though Hinton describes them as having very different backgrounds and values, in the end, we see the outsiders' compassion and caring exhibited by Ponyboy and his gang of friends.
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