The Outsiders tells the story of two groups of teenagers whose bitter rivalry stems from social differences

The Outsiders tells the story of two groups of teenagers whose bitter rivalry stems from social differences. Yet, Hinton suggests, these differences in social class do not necessarily make natural enemies of the two groups. The greasers and Socs share some things in common. Cherry Valance, a Soc, and Ponyboy Curtis, a greaser, discuss their shared love of literature, popular music, and sunsets, transcending if only temporarily the divisions that feed the feud between their respective groups. Their harmonious conversation suggests that shared passions can fill in the gap between rich and poor. This potential for agreement marks a bright spot in the novel’s gloomy prognosis that the battle between the classes is a long-lasting one. Over the course of the novel, Ponyboy begins to see the pattern of shared experience. He realizes that the hardships that greasers and Socs face may take different practical forms, but that the members of both groups and youths everywhere—must inevitably come to terms with fear, love, and sorrow.