The Greasers are considered outsiders because of their reputation and the fact that they are poor. "The rich Socs "jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next." The poor greasers, conversely, "steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while." As Cherry states when talking to Ponyboy, "You greasers have a different set of values. You're more emotional. We're sophisticated—cool to the point of not feeling anything ... Rat race is a perfect name for [our life]." As Ponyboy realizes the values the Soc's live by make him and his kind outsiders because they are not accepted the same way the kids with money are accepted.
The Outsiders is called what it is for a few reasons. The gang: Darry, Sodapop, and Ponyboy Curtis, Steve Randell, Two-Bit Matthews, Dallas Winston, and Johnny Cade are considered 'outsiders' because they are greasers, the poor boys of Tulsa. When you read the title, you think that they are the stereotype outsiders: tough, rough, mean, fighting boys who can't relate to or get along with anyone but themselves. The title can throw you off. As you read the novel, you realize that they are and aren't outsiders. They are not violent. They don't go looking for fights the way people expect them to. They are caring people, a big family, who never could, but wanted to, belong. In another way, they are outsiders: They hug each other. They read novels like 'Gone With the Wind'. They show affection and love for each other like no other gangs do. In that way, they are outsiders. Either way, S.E. Hinton created seven unforgettable characters that the nation fell in love with. The Outsiders truly is a story of growing up on the outside, looking in.