Author: S. E. Hinton
A heroic story of friendship and belonging.
Ponyboy has been struggling of late between understanding right and wrong in a society that automatically decides it for him, his brothers, and friends: greasers. His thoughts pull him in one direction and his brothers and friends pull him in other directions. After Johnny saves him from being drowned by a soc, the result something dreadful. Murder. The two go on the lamb. Even doing the wrong thing for the right reason can have consequences, and they’ll stay with you for a very long time.
Ponyboy’s world crumbles around him and this not only affected him but everyone around him, and he soon learns that it doesn’t matter if you’re a greaser or a soc, pain hurts all the same.
This is a classic I’ve wanted to read for years. I don’t care that people usually read it back in middle school. For me, The Giver and The Cure were what was read. Classics are ageless and this a classic. It’s a dark and tragic story that proves that it doesn’t matter what social class you are put into, everyone bleeds the same and hurts the same.
Actually, experiencing life from such an unexpected perspective is incredible and fresh. Greasers, like everyone else at the time, worked hard, fell in love, and felt heartbreak like everyone else, but because of where they live and what they look like they still get hassled horrendously. It made me fill pity, to be honest. Nobody understands what it’s like to struggle at the bottom unless they’ve been there and to have people that don’t understand or care add on to it is heavy. This book really gives readers a chance to experience that some. You fight for all that you have. In this case, it was for family, respect, and dignity.
The family dynamic is heart-wrenching. Sure, the decisions the boys make more often than not made me frown because they were quite the troublemakers but the way they supported each other was the true spirit of family. This book also reiterates that blood isn’t all that makes a family.
The setting of the book really gives way to a time when society really was a bastard. Today, it’s still pretty bad and disturbing. What is so wrong with the human race that we beat each other because of status?
I’m really glad I read this. It really got me to think. No matter how old you are, a book doesn’t tell you that you can’t read it because you’re too old. They all have interesting lessons, stories, and/or emotions to give you, and for a reason. Now, I can’t wait to watch the movie to this and compare thoughts. This really is a valuable read.
“Suddenly, in the red glow and haze, I remembered wondering what it was like in a burning ember, and I thought: Now I know, it’s a red hell. Why aren’t I scared?” (Ponyboy, p. 92)
“I am a greaser. I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!” (Sodapop, p. 136)
“We’re greasers, but not hoods, and we don’t belong with this bunch of future convicts.” (Ponyboy, p. 141)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Surrender by Cheap Trick.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.