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Key events in The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Summary:

Key events in The Outsiders include Ponyboy and Johnny being attacked by the Socs, leading to Johnny killing Bob in self-defense. They run away and hide in an abandoned church, which later catches fire, and they rescue trapped children. Johnny is severely injured and eventually dies, affecting the gang deeply. The novel ends with Ponyboy reflecting on these events and deciding to tell their story.

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What are the major events in chapter 2 of The Outsiders?

Chapter two sees Pony Boy heading into town with Dallas and Johnny, and the trio decides to illegally enter the Nightly Double. Soon after they arrive, Dallas starts chatting up some Soc girls, who do not appreciate his crassness.

When Ponyboy gets a chance to chat to one of the girls alone, she refers to Dallas as "trash", which Ponyboy, as a fellow greaser, finds offensive. This is significant as it reminds the reader of the divide between the Socs and the greasers. As a greaser, which is a term that refers to somebody from the wrong side of the proverbial tracks, and without much money, Ponyboy feels an allegiance to Dallas, even though he is uncomfortable with Dallas's behavior.

This divide is further explained in another significant chapter two scene, when Ponyboy explains to Cherry that a few months earlier, Johnny had been beaten black and blue by a group of Socs. It is as a result of that attack that Johnny now carries a six-inch switchblade to make sure he can always protect himself.

Perhaps the most significant moment of the drive-in encounter is when Cherry tells Ponyboy that Socs also have problems, of which the greasers know nothing. Ponyboy, however, finds this hard to believe, as he can't imagine that socs, with their wealth and prestige, could have any real problems.

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What are the major events in chapter 2 of The Outsiders?

Pony thinks the Greasers and the Socs are impossibly different, but one of the main purposes of this chapter is to show how much they have in common. Pony finds that he can relate to Cherry and that she is a likable character. Although talking to her makes him somewhat nervous, Cherry is down-to-earth and willing to listen to Pony's perspective. She isn't afraid of Dally, even throwing a soda in his face to help cool him off. Cherry doesn't appreciate Dally's language or attitude and doesn't mind telling him so. When Pony shares with her the reason that Johnny is so afraid of Socs, Cherry insists that not all Socs are the same. When Pony tries to brush off her comment, she points out that not all Greasers are like Dally, and Pony begins to see her point. Pony thus learns that not all Socs are cold and aloof and that there is a common sense of humanity that binds them all together. This will be important as the plot evolves.

Yet there is an equally important point of this chapter. There are loyalties in both groups, and people generally adhere to those group lines. When Cherry and Marcia make some rather unflattering comments about Dally when he leaves their circle, Johnny and Pony are quick to jump to his defense:

You take up for your buddies, no matter what they do. When you're a gang, you stick up for the members. If you don't stickup for them, stick together, make like brothers, it isn't a gang any more. It's a pack. A snarling, distrustful, bickering pack like the Socs in their social clubs...

Even if Pony knows that Dally is wrong, his loyalties lie with his group and therefore with Dally. Later, when Cherry tells Pony that the Socs have problems he's never even heard of, he is so far removed from that reality that he cannot fathom what she could be talking about:

I really couldn't see what Socs would have to sweat about--- good grades, good cars, good girls, madras and Mustangs and Corvairs--- Man, I thought, if I had worries like that I'd consider myself lucky.

This perspective is amplified by his recent reflections of Johnny's horrific beating by the Socs, who left him bloody, face down, and likely assumed dead. Because of this, Pony thinks Johnny will kill the next Soc who jumps him.

This conversation itself establishes upcoming conflict. Bob won't be happy to see his girlfriend hanging out with Greasers, and Johnny's fear of the Socs, particularly the one who drives the blue Mustang (which turns out to be Bob), will fuel his reaction when Pony's life is in danger in an upcoming chapter.

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What are the major events in chapter 2 of The Outsiders?

In chapter 2 of The Outsiders, several major events take place that move the plot of the novel forward.

First of all, Dally, Ponyboy, and Johnny go to the Dingo for the Nightly Double. This drive-in movie theater has a bad reputation, but it is a greaser hang-out, so the three friends know lots of people there.

While watching the movie, Dally insults Cherry Valance, and she stands up to him. Even though their moment of connection is characterized by hostility, there is no doubt that Dally makes a deep impression on Cherry; she later unexpectedly admits to Ponyboy that she admires Dally, revealing a depth of character that surprises Ponyboy.

After Dally leaves, Ponyboy and Johnny sit with Cherry and Marcia and make friends with them. This moment is important because Cherry and Marcia are Socs, and the two groups rarely intersect in such a peaceful and friendly way.

While at the concessions stand together, Ponyboy tells Cherry about what happened to Johnny that made him so nervous. Cherry defends the Socs who jumped Johnny, explaining that "things are rough all over," expressing a theme of the novel in clearcut terms to Ponyboy, who is skeptical but open to Cherry's worldview.

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What are the major events in Chapter 3 of The Outsiders?

Several significant events take place in chapter 3. The first major event that occurs is Ponyboy's enlightening conversation with Cherry Valance, which helps him understand the differences and similarities between the Greasers and Socs. The second major event that happens in chapter 3 concerns Ponyboy's passionate thoughts about why life is not fair. While Cherry and Marcia are standing close by, Ponyboy laments about the lives of the Greaser members. Ponyboy tells Two-Bit and Johnny that life is not fair and begins to think about all of the unfortunate circumstances that his close friends have to deal with in life. Pony's thoughts provide background for his character and give significant insight into the atmosphere surrounding the two gangs. After a brief run-in with the Socs, Two-Bit leaves for a poker game, and Johnny and Ponyboy look at the stars in an empty lot. The third significant event that takes place in chapter 3 concerns Pony returning to his home. After accidentally falling asleep in the empty lot, Pony returns home past his curfew, but Darry has been waiting for him. When Pony enters the house, Darry begins yelling at him, and an argument ensues. In a fit of rage, Darry slaps Ponyboy, who immediately runs out of the house. Pony then meets up with Johnny, and the two friends decide to walk to the park to settle down. Pony's decision to run away and walk to the park with Johnny is significant and leads to the dramatic scene that results in Bob Sheldon's death.

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What are the major events in Chapter 3 of The Outsiders?

Chapter Three helps us to understand the situation of both the Socs and the Greasers, and the way that, although they are so different overtly, they actually struggle with very similar issues. The boys give Cherry and her friend a lift home, and Ponyboy finds it easy to talk to Cherry. However, this all stops when a blue mustang pulls up and the Socs inside of it threaten the Greasers. Cherry appeals to all of them not to fight and goes off with the Socs. After they have left, Johnny tells Ponyboy how tired he is of all the violence that characterises their lives. He even threatens to commit suicide as a means of escape. Ponyboy tries to soothe him by telling him of a place in the countryside where they could live in peace. They fall asleep, looking at the stars outside. When they wake up, Ponyboy goes home to a furious Darry. He is worried that if there is any trouble with the police, social services will take Ponyboy and Soda away from his care because they are underaged. In the argument that follows, Darry slaps Ponyboy and Ponyboy runs away.

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What are the important events in chapter 6 of The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton?

The challenges of the gang's associations and the loyalty placed within one another seem to be the largest thematic elements presented in the novel in chapter 6.  Johnny's desire to confess his crime unsettles or upsets Dally.  The latter's hopes of wanting to mold or take care of the former might be a part of the reason why there is so much consternation about Johnny's desire to confess.  This is the backdrop to Johnny and Ponyboy and their interaction with the church fire, where they save the children who are trapped.  The injuries endured by both are another critical element at this point in the novel.  The emotional reconciliation between Ponyboy and his brother are also critically important at this point in the novel.

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What are the key events in chapter 8 of The Outsiders?

Chapter 8 isn't a chapter that has a lot of action. Consequently, it isn't likely to be a chapter that is on a student's list of favorite chapters. That doesn't mean important things don't happen in the chapter. If anything, chapter 8 functions as the calm before the storm that happens in chapter 9. Readers know that the storm is imminent, but chapter 8 makes us wait for it, and that helps to build tension.

Chapter 8 begins with Ponyboy and Two-Bit visiting Johnny in the hospital. Unfortunately, Johnny is not doing well. He's very weak, but he does ask for a copy of Gone with the Wind. Two-Bit will leave to go get a copy, and Johnny has a heartfelt moment alone with Ponyboy. Johnny admits that he isn't ready to die. He hasn't seen enough or done enough:

I don't want to die now. It ain't long enough. Sixteen years ain't long enough. I wouldn't mind it so much if there wasn't so much stuff I ain't done yet—and so many things I ain't seen.

Johnny's mother shows up, and Johnny fiercely refuses to see her. He is so strained with effort that he passes out.

Next, Johnny and Ponyboy go to visit Dally. He is in much better shape than Johnny and is upset to hear about Johnny's condition. The conversation doesn't last too long, but an important exchange happens. Two-Bit gives Dally his switchblade.

Another important event that occurs in chapter 8 is the conversation that happens between Cherry and Ponyboy at the end of the chapter. Cherry and Ponyboy have historically gotten along quite well, and they both see and understand that things are indeed "rough all over." This conversation isn't as cordial. Ponyboy asks if Cherry has gone to see Johnny yet, and Cherry tries to explain why she hasn't. She also tries to explain some of the good traits about Bob. Ponyboy can't agree with her, and Ponyboy says some nasty things to Cherry:

I wouldn't want you to see him. You're a traitor to your own kind and not loyal to us. Do you think your spying for us makes up for the fact that you're sitting there in a Corvette while my brother drops out of school to get a job? Don't you ever feel sorry for us. Don't you ever try to give us handouts and then feel high and mighty about it.

The two characters do end up on friendly terms as the chapter closes because they both realize they still watch the same sunset.

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What are the key events of the rumble in Chapter 9 of The Outsiders?

Ponyboy arrives late for dinner, and the others--Darry, Soda, and Steve--are getting ready for the rumble. Darry's muscles bulge in his tight t-shirt, and Pony pities "the Soc that takes a crack at him." Pony, Soda and Steve add extra oil to their hair, and Pony puts on a clean t-shirt and jeans for the occasion. When Two-Bit arrives, the boys head to the vacant lot. They lament that they will be short-handed without Dally, Johnny and Curly Shepard, who is in "the cooler." When the boys arrive, Tim Shepard's gang is waiting, as was another greaser gang, the Brumly boys. One of the Brumly boys asks about Darry, and he predicts that Darry will "be asked to start the fireworks." He is right, and the gang leaders soon suggest that Darry should be the first to challenge the biggest Soc. The greasers are outnumbered--they have 20 boys--and when the four carloads of Socs arrive, they total 22.

The Socs "lined up silently, facing us," and Darry

... stepped forward... everything looked unreal, like a scene out of a JD movie or something. Then Darry said, "I'll take on anyone."  (Chapter 9)

At first it appears that no one will accept Darry's challenge, but suddenly his old football pal, Paul Holden, steps forward. Once best friends, the two had gone their separate ways. But Paul says, "I'll take you," and Darry smiles at the opportunity to prove he is the better man. The two stalk each other for a moment until a voice rings out. "Hold up!... Hold it!" It is Dally, who has run from the hospital after threatening the nurse with a switchblade in order to join his friends. When Darry turns to see who it is, Paul delivers

... a hard right to the jaw that would have felled anyone but Darry. The rumble was on.  (Chapter 9)

Pony and Dally have a rough time of it, but Darry--who always takes on "two at a time anyway"--looks after Pony, and Pony helps out Dally. Pony nearly "blacked out" after being kicked in the head, but he is still coherent enough to hear a greaser cry out "They're running!" The greasers are battered: Shepard has a broken nose, Two-Bit's "hand was busted wide open," Steve has three broken ribs, and Darry has a cut on the forehead and would "have a black eye." But the greasers have won, and Darry proclaims,

     "We beat the Socs."  (Chapter 9)

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