Teen Violence and The Outsiders
Teen violence and its causes are important parts of the novel The Outsiders. Most notably, the character Johnny kills a rival gang-member. The killing is not merely the ruthless act of a cruel or delinquent character. The author goes to great lengths to justify the killing. This is done by various means - Johnny has been brutalized by this rival gang; he is rescuing Ponyboy, who Johnny believes is being drowned. But what remains to be answered is the cause of the murders. The most important characteristic of Johnny is his search for his parents' love and some adult's guidance. It is brought several times to the notice of the reader that his parents don't care about him. Even when parental neglect has faded to the background, Johnny is searching for a substitute parent. This substitute is in fact Dally, and Johnny's attachment to this violent and immature figure is what leads him to delinquency and eventually the slaying.A Marxist Interpretation of The Outsiders
The novel The Outsiders is an excellent example of the struggle between the haves and the have-nots. Beneath all the violence present in this novel is class warfare. The rich strive to maintain their monopoly on success, power and opportunity and to keep the poor in their place. They flaunt their cars and women and money before the poor. When these and other psychological methods of repressing the poor fail, they resort to violence. The poor struggle to acquire some position of status and protect their `turf', but these efforts are often expressed in futile and trivial acts of rebellion, such as smoking, slashing tires and fighting, or in futile and desperate acts, such as robbing a liquor store. A Feminist Interpretation
of The Outsiders
In the novel The Outsiders, women are treated as the property of various `tribes' of males. Nowhere in the book is there any important female. The `real' action revolves around the males; males are the center of this urban, teen world. Females are subverted to supporting roles, merely informing males of one another's plots and providing a sexual goal for them to conquer. This is a male-dominated world bent on violent, inter-tribal warfare, where one of the highest stakes is ownership of the females.