Examples Of Identity In The Outsiders

Decent Essays

Identity is a substantial component of a person, it’s something that determines who they are and help establish themselves with people who you find enjoyable and shares similar interests. It could bring people together, and provide a sense of belonging and unity. However, there are times where these people who are within certain cliques are perceived more negatively or believe that all people within that group perpetually have a certain set of traits. In most cases, these negative perceptions lead to discrimination and conflict, and obscures the positive and more genuine traits of an individual. In S.E. Hinton’s book, The Outsiders, there are a group of poor and lower-middle class teens who are labeled as the greasers. This group of wild teenagers …show more content…

Johnny once was a teen who wasn't cowardly, and stood up for his gang. He was a good man in a rumble and kept his mouth shut around the police, but things changed when he was jumped by the Socs. The assault left him more anxious than ever, and ended up carrying a six-inch switchblade in his back pocket, despite that he was the most law-abiding of the gang. In addition, Johnny didn't do well in school, he had failed a year in school and never made good grades (Hinton 65). But even so, Johnny is more than a quiet, anxious kid who does poorly in school. Notably, when Ponyboy and Johnny were hiding in the church, the pair occasionally reads a book called Gone with the Wind in order to pass the time. While they were reading, Ponyboy remarked, "It amazed me how Johnny could get more meaning out of some of the stuff in there than I could--- I was supposed to be the deep one... and I guess his teachers thought he was just plain dumb. But he wasn't. He was just a little slow to get things, and he liked to explore things once he did get them" (Hinton 65). This shows that he is able to comprehend the message and/or significance of a story or concept, albeit it takes him a long period of time. Although he was high-strung, quiet, and seemingly believed to be dumb by his teachers, Johnny is, in truth, quite reflective and …show more content…

Hinton's book, The Outsiders, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally have something more to their individuality than their representative characteristics. Ponyboy demonstrates his thoughtful and dreaminess from his love of books, movies, and sunsets- which sets him apart from the rest of his gang. Johnny Cade also differs from the assumptions from his teachers at school, as he demonstrates his thoughtfulness and interest in new things while reading Gone with the Wind and figuring out the meaning of Robert Frost's poem, Nothing Gold can Stay. In a like manner, Dallas, a rough and dangerous delinquent who happens to be dearth of any love for someone or something, shows a softer side of his character when Johnny is in need of help after the accidental killing of Bob Sheldon. In short, readers should consider that the assumptions and stereotypes that ties with their identity doesn't truly make up your genuine self. Even if it the negativity seems too concealing, it shouldn't obstruct their dreams and aspirations. Moreover, Readers should also keep in mind that not all people are the person who they appear to be, and not all negative depictions are true for all

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