"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton, Chapters 1–2

June 9, 2014
In the 1960s, tensions between two rival gangs separated along economic lines reach a violent breaking point.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–2, Chapters 3–4, Chapters 5–6, Chapters 7–8, Chapters 9–10, Chapters 11–12, Author’s Note and Interview
Or I could have gotten one of the gang to come along, one of the four boys Darry and Soda and I have grown up with and consider family.
I remembered Johnny—his face all cut up and bruised, and I remembered how he had cried when we found him, half-conscious, in the corner lot.
I could feel my palms getting clammy and the perspiration running down my back.
I could smell English Leather shaving lotion and stale tobacco, and I wondered foolishly if I would suffocate before they did anything.
His eyes are dark brown—lively, dancing, recklessly laughing eyes that can be gentle and sympathetic one moment and blazing with anger the next.
He was famous for shoplifting and his black-handled switchblade (which he couldn’t have acquired without his first talent), and he was always smarting off to the cops.
He liked fights, blondes, and for some unfathomable reason, school.
A rarity is something unusual, often thought as valuable. This word almost makes an organized gang seem like something that Ponyboy wishes his neighborhood had. But he is actually somewhat of a loner who enjoys watching movies and reading books by himself. Any positive tone towards organized gangs would be connected to Dally.
In New York, Dally blew off steam in gang fights, but here, organized gangs are rarities—there are just small bunches of friends who stick together, and the warfare is between the social classes.
He had a nervous, suspicious look in his eyes, and that beating he got from the Socs didn’t help matters.
Lying beside Soda, staring at the wall, I kept remembering the faces of the Socs as they surrounded me, that blue madras shirt the blond was wearing, and I could still hear a thick voice: “Need a haircut, greaser?”
"Savvy" is used here as a question that means the same as "you dig?" As a noun, it means "common sense" and as an adjective, it means "having common sense." So a savvy person has savvy, savvy?
“Listen, kiddo, when Darry hollers at you ... he don’t mean nothin’. He’s just got more worries than somebody his age ought to. Don’t take him serious ... you dig, Pony? Don’t let him bug you. He’s really proud of you ’cause you’re so brainy. It’s just because you’re the baby—I mean, he loves you a lot. Savvy?”
Two-Bit or Steve or even Soda would have gone right along with him, just to see if they could embarrass the girls, but that kind of kicks just doesn’t appeal to me.
She gave him an incredulous look; and then she threw her Coke in his face.
If it had been me, or Two-Bit, or Soda or Steve, or anyone but Johnny, Dally would have flattened him without a moment’s hesitation.
The adjective "rebellious" comes from the Latin verb "bellare" which means "to make war." Because Johnny is not rebellious, even though his parents make war on him, everyone in the gang takes extra care to make him feel like he's their beloved kid brother.
Living in those conditions might have turned someone else rebellious and bitter; it was killing Johnny.

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Thursday February 25th 2016, 6:50 PM
Comment by: mikey (FL)
its fun
Thursday March 31st 2016, 12:00 PM
Comment by: DeVonte D. (GA)
yes! it is
Monday April 11th 2016, 12:44 PM
Comment by: bokchoy (CA)
hi mikey its your ol pal, jon. how's it over in florida? ever since you moved i haven't talked to you in a while. cheers bud,

Friday April 15th 2016, 5:53 PM
Comment by: Em (CA)
hi michael
Monday April 18th 2016, 10:57 AM
Comment by: Terrell G. (VA)
mane its rell in dis bihhhh dabb
Monday April 18th 2016, 10:29 PM
Comment by: nattyann (CA)
It's fun to do, but it is so long.
Tuesday April 19th 2016, 1:15 PM
Comment by: Mack (Canada)
??? what's going on?
Monday April 25th 2016, 1:26 PM
Comment by: Brayden W. (CA)
boring. I dont get why this "fun" to people.

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