Essay on S.E. Hinton’s Novel The Outsiders

568 Words 3 Pages
Stereotyping plays a large role in the events of S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders. The two main opposing groups, the Socs and Greasers, constantly face problems because of the stereotypes associated with their social groups. As seen in the novel, stereotypes and prejudice cause extreme and unnecessary conflicts. Both groups have predetermined opinions of the other, but as the story progresses, many of the characters begin to realize how similar the groups can be. The stereotypes observed in the novel can easily be compared to those in real life. Both the Greasers and the Socs share many of their opinions with the other members of their groups, and this leads to many misunderstandings. In fact, most of the conflicts in the novel are caused by inaccurate stereotypes. Many of these problems could be solved by examining the way society treats people based on their social status.
According to McGarty, Yzerbyt, and Spears, “…interactions with other people are powerfully constrained by group memberships…” (2). This can be seen in many places throughout The Outsiders. The Socs and Greasers rarely took the time to get to know people outside of their groups. Ponyboy and his friends’ beliefs about the Socs were mostly limited to what they had heard from others. Although most of the gang had their share of bad experiences with the Socs, the Greasers made most of their judgments based on the things they were told. These judgments ultimately caused some of the biggest conflicts in…