Outsiders: Compare and Contrast Essay Sample

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“Every city in the world always has a gang, a street gang, or the so-called outcasts.” – Jimi Hendrix. The tone, purpose, and gangs in the Outsiders and the article share some traits, and differ with others. For example, they share the theme of violence among youth. However, the view of the gangs on violence differs.

One common theme The Outsiders and the news article share violence among youth. In The Outsiders, the main character, Ponyboy, is involved in a local gang. Throughout the novel, he indicates his reluctance in participation with this gang; but does do out of a need for loyalty and safety. “By then I figured the gang was coming to rescue me” (Hinton 6). Hinton was able to display reluctance through this small tidbit. The article is not able to use this type of characterization, due to its informational nature. However, it can display violence as a group dynamic, as shown in this quote, “In a crowds as dense as that at Brighton control could not be easily contained, and fights and rowdiness continued sporadically” (Lapping). The violence is shown as a large theme of the story, and is displayed with informational writing.

One difference between the Outsiders and the article is the gang’s view on violence. In the Outsiders, many of the Greasers and Socs both enjoyed to fight just for the fun of it. “I am a JD (juvenile delinquent) and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!” (Hinton 6). This shows the mentality of a typical greaser. I believe the author wanted to entertain and to show an inside view at the mentality of gangs.

On the other hand, the article portrays the Rockers and Mods as violent, yet they try to stay away from physical violence. “Amid the masses of teenagers, however, there was no difficulty talking to individuals, most of whom shared the desire to keep away from physical violence” (Lapping). The author obviously tried to inform the readers that while the teenagers were violent, most of them tried to refrain from physical violence, unlike the gangs in the Outsiders. Not only was there a difference in purpose and tone, but also the ways that the gangs acted and were portrayed. The article seems to suggest a more peaceful type of fighting.

The Outsiders and the article both have their share of similarities and differences. They have common themes, different tones, different purpose, and different characterization. However, despite the differences in writing, the gangs appear to have the same essentials that occur in adolescent, or even any gang violence: rivalry between the popular and the outcasts.

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