The Outsiders: is Johnny Guilty and Overcoming Struggles

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 482 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 482|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Exploring The Outsiders and Its Themes
  2. Overcoming Fear and Being Guilty in The Outsiders
  3. Works Cited

Exploring The Outsiders and Its Themes

The Outsiders is a novel composed by S.E. Hinton in 1967 to depict the lives of teenagers living in reality. The Greasers experience numerous battles and face multifarious hindrances within this critically acclaimed novel. Diverse topics and messages inside this book hit-home to most in Hilton’s crowd. The Outsiders address the grandness of kinship and family through the theme of brotherhood by their passionate fight for one another, their care for each other, and their ability to never relinquish one another. Amidst these profound themes, a central question emerges in The Outsiders: is Johnny guilty?

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Susan Eloise Hinton was born on July 22nd, 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oklahoma has very few activities for girls at this time, so she spent her days reading and writing. As she grew up, she realized that nothing interested her as much as she wishes some things did. The typical ‘girl meets boy’ stories did not cut it for her. She wanted something that truly depicted the American teenage life. S.E. Hinton has written many books including That Was Then, This Is Now, Rumble Fish, Tex, and Hawkes Harbor. Susan adored animals and took life as a large influence in and out of her writing. Hinton went to Will Rogers High School and then graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1970. The writings of her youth influenced her to write the way she does. S.E. disliked the stories with wonderful happy endings she grew up reading. S.E. Hinton was and always will be known as one of the most notable young-adult fiction writers.

Overcoming Fear and Being Guilty in The Outsiders

Hinton expresses the theme of brotherhood within this novel. The first way she does this is through their fight for one another. This can always be translated into violence. For example, in chapter four, The Socs were drowning Ponyboy in the park fountain. Ponyboy was helpless and Johnny had no clue what to do. Johnny the youngest of the gang stabs and kills Bob the Socs’ leader. “I killed him. I killed that boy.” (Hinton 56). The human body is is programmed to feel compassion, empathy, and guilt for crimes accidental or purposeful. Johnny may have accidentally murdered Bob but that doesn’t make a difference.

The orbitofrontal cortex is a region in the forebrain responsible for moral sensitivity, behavioral choices, and moral judgements. Johnny reacted out of fear and compassion for his best friend and family. Johnny overcame the fear and guilt of murder to save Ponyboy. To be capable of such a thing as murder, you must have very strong cause. Johnny was saving both himself and Ponyboy. This is how important family is to the Greasers. To overcome the fear, guilt, and unknowingness of murder is extremely difficult.

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Works Cited

  1. Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. 1967.
  2. Hinton, S.E. That Was Then, This Is Now. 1971.
  3. Hinton, S.E. Rumble Fish. 1975.
  4. Hinton, S.E. Tex. 1979.
  5. Hinton, S.E. Hawkes Harbor. 2004.


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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Outsiders: Is Johnny Guilty and Overcoming Struggles. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
“The Outsiders: Is Johnny Guilty and Overcoming Struggles.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
The Outsiders: Is Johnny Guilty and Overcoming Struggles. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
The Outsiders: Is Johnny Guilty and Overcoming Struggles [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from:
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