From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Outsiders Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
The Outsiders (1967) | Written by: S.E. Hinton | Published by: Viking Press
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What up y’all? This week we takin it to the STREETS with The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
Fo’teen year old Pony Boy Curtis jus’ walkin home one night, minding his own damn bidness when all the sudden- “Break Yo’self!” Five hoods from West Side crew roll up and start layin a whoop on my boy when “HOLD UP”- Pony Boy’s East side bruthas drop in and shake dem haters off. See, fo years there been beef goin on between The Socs, or the West Side rich kids, and the “Greasers,” the East side po’ kids.
Pony boy livin’ in the slums with his two brothers Sodapop and Darry. And when Pony on da streets, he and his bros always rollin deep with some otha’ Greasers- Johnny, Steve, Two-Bit, and crazy white-boy Dallas Winston, or Dally for short.
Later, Johnny, Dallas, and Pony Boy chillin at da drive-in when they start throwin game at these two soc biddies named Cherry and Marcia. When Dallas bails and Two-Bit shows up, da boys decide to keep it gangsta and offer da ladies a ride home. While they rollin up to the hoopty, tho, da girls boytoys Bob and Randy step to afta’ poundin’ too much crunk joose. Mad-dogging ensues and da sh** bout to go down when da womenses break it up and head home with their men.
Dat night, Pony boy and Johnny pass out while they soakin’ in dat night sky, so when Pony get home, Darry all like “Muthafuka where you been? I been stayin up all night waitin fo yo ass.” Darry get all riled up and WHACK- give Pony five across da face. All to’ up bout it, Pony Boy books it to the park where he meets up with his boy Johnny. Just then “Oh Damn!”- Outta nowhere Randy, Bob, and da rest of dem Soc haters jump our boys! It’s almost lights out for Pony Boy, whose ass bout to get drowned, til Johnny whips out his blade and shanks Bob. WOOOO he dead!
Buggin like crazy, Pony and Johnny hit up crazy-ass Dallas, who throws em a piece, fiddy bucks, and tell em to get outta town and lay low in an abandoned church til things cool off.
Bout one boring-ass week later, Dallas show up and take em to a Dairy Queen and tell em what’s goin down: The Socs and da Greasers bout have an all-out rumble in da streets. Cherry on our side now actin’ like a spy, and da law is ridin’ Pony Boy and Johnny’s asses HARD- even got they descriptions in the paper. Johnny decide he gonna turn himself in pleadin’ self defense, but errybody head back to the church first. When they get there, it straight BLAZIN wit lil’ kids trapped inside! Johnny, Pony, and Dallas keep it clutch and save all the churrin, but when da roof caves in, Johnny’s back gets fu**ED up and he dies at da hospital.
Dallas gets so crunk bout Johnny dyin’ that he boosts some sh** from da grocery sto’ and now he on the run from the 5-0. Pony and da boys try to help a brutha out, but da fuzz get to Dallas first and pump him full of lead.
Pony Boy sees da whole thing go down, and realize dat Dallas’s heart been shat on so much, dat he wanted to die.
With all this messed up sh** goin’ on around them, Soda get Darry and Pony to stop bustin’ eachothers asses all the time, cuz they all they got left. Pony Boy gets straight with the law, but he havin’ trouble at school. Teach hooks him up and say he can write a peper if he wanna pass English. After thinkin’ bout all da mess dat went down with Dallas, he realize dat people need to hear da truth: The world ain’t JUST a whack-ass place. There’s good in there, and otha’ people stugglin jus like you. So keep a lookout for peeps who need a hand, and don’t judge a book by its cover. Pony actually start writing a book which ends up being da book you just read…
Even though Da Outsiders was written fo’ adolescent kids, it sho as hell pissed off a lot of adults.. Matta’ fact, this book keep it so real dat when it came out, parents were trippin dat it describe young people talkin mess, smokin’ cigs, and dodgin’ the law. But what really make dis work so legit, is how Hinton don’t shy away from da beef between the social classes.
See at first Pony Boy and da crew thinkin dat they so different from da Socs cuz they born with phat stacks, whereas da Greasers gotta bust they ass for a livin and ain’t got sh** to their name.
A life full of empty pockets and no opportunities can make a man cold as ice- like Dallas. And when you on the struggle like dat, da only thing you got is yo pride to keep you strong, and yo gang to get yo back.
Sparky reads quote: “We’re all we’ve got left. We ought to be able to stick together against everything. If we don’t have each other, we don’t have anything. If you don’t have anything, you end like Dallas…and I don’t mean dead, either. I mean like he was before. And that’s worse than dead.” (176)
But eventually Pony-B realize dat whether you got swole dollas or no dollas, errybody got problems- even the Socs. And in that way they ain’t so different. Cherry help him understand dat when she say:
Sparky reads quote: “I’ll bet you think the Socs have it made. The rich kids, the West-side Socs. I’ll tell you something, Ponyboy, and it may come as a surprise. We have troubles you’ve never even heard of. You want to know something?’ She looked me straight in the eye. ‘Things are rough all over.’” (34-35)
All throughout this book Ponyboy feelin’ like he an Outsider- even when he wit his own crew. But no matta’ how tight you are with someone, there always gonna be differences between one person and anotha. And even if it’s a fat-ass social gap like da one between da Greasers and da Socs, there’s always a chance to build a bridge and pave it with gold, playa.
In fact, da poem “Nothing Gold can Stay” by Robert Frost gets a shoutout in da book dat schools Pony boy real good.
Sparky reads quote: “I’ve been thinking about it, and that poem, that guy that wrote it, he meant you’re gold when you’re a kid, like green. When you’re a kid everything’s new, dawn.
It’s just when you get used to everything that it’s day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That’s gold. Keep that way, it’s a good way to be.” (178)
There’s gold inside erry homie, and dats what you gotta get at if you wanna be able to connect wit’ people. So stay gold by pre- ordering the Thug Notes book. We been workin’ our asses off on this bad boy. It’s got breakdowns of the 16 most assigned books made of 100% real talk. So click the link in the description and throw down some change fo’ yo boy Sparky. Thanks for watchin’ y’all. Peace.