The Outsiders is a famous coming of age novel by S.E. Hinton. It was first published in 1967 and Hinton was only 18 when it was published. This book tells the story of a 14-year old boy, Ponyboy Curtis.

It is about how he struggles while living in a society where he believes himself to be an outsider. In The Outsiders, there are two rival gangs based on their socioeconomic status. The upper-class gang is named the “Socs” while the working class gang is the “Greasers”. The story takes place in 1965, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Outsiders friendship is one of the most popular friendship themes in books.

Value of Friendship


Man is a social animal. Family, friendships, and relationships are very important for a person, especially in shaping his personality and life. Good friends are not only good for your mental health but physical health as well.

They are there for you in your good times and your bad times. Moreover, they increase your sense of purpose and belonging. The Outsiders friendship is depicted when the gang acts as the surrogate family. The whole story is based on the relationships within the gang.

The question of friendship as a theme in The Outsiders becomes clear when we see the bonding and love between the Greasers.

Importance of Friendship for the Curtis family


Gangs are a unit of security. The Greasers gang was formed due to many reasons. The major reason was to cope up with the absence of other family members. Ponyboy Curtis, Soda, and Darry had all lost their parents in a tragic car accident at a young age.

They didn’t have emotional support and love at home so they leaned on their friends. There was no choice for Darry but to step in his father’s shoes and take care of his siblings. It is clearly mentioned in The Outsiders essay that when Ponyboy was ill, it was Two Bit who took care of him when his brothers were at work.

Moreover, we also learn that even if your circumstances change, you have to fight hard to keep your family intact because family is important. When their parents die, Darry and Soda work hard – Darry even keeps two jobs – to support their family even though they are mere teenagers.

This shows how important loyalty and friendship were for the Greasers. Dally thought that he never needed any help when in the form of backup or security. But the night he robs the grocery store, the whole Greasers gang is there to help him out.

When Dally is trying to flirt with Cherry, Johnny tells him to back off. Cherry thanks Johnny and says that he showed real courage and acted as a true friend.

Importance of Friendship for Johnny


Johnny’s parents were alive but didn’t care about his emotions and well-being. Therefore, he turned to the gang to help him navigate his way through life. Ponyboy and Dally fill the void in his life and take some of his pain away by being there for him.

The theme of loyalty is highly visible throughout the novel. Every gang member is loyal to each other and they all have each other’s backs. When fights happen between the Socs and the Greasers, every Greaser protects each other, just like a big family.

We all remember how Dally saves Johnny when the church is burning. Moreover, when Johnny gets beat up by the “Socs”, the Greasers all get together to find and help him. Another example of how friendship saved the life of Johnny is when he kills Bob Sheldon and Dally provides him the means to run away and escape the authorities.

The gang was a brotherhood with a bond so strong that nothing could stand in their way.

Importance of Friendship for Steve


Even though Steve isn’t family to the Curtis’s, the Curtis boys treat him as if he was their own blood. They know how hateful a person Steve’s Dad is, and they take care of him as their own. The only reason Johnny killed Bob was to save PonyBoy’s life. Johnny says, “They were drowning you Pony – I had no choice”. The Outsiders friendship quotes clearly show the importance given to friendship in the book.

When Johnny saw that his friend was in trouble, he went against his morals and did the only thing that he could to save his friend. Similarly, when Soda writes a letter to Ponyboy telling him how much he misses him and wants him to come back, he knows that Ponyboy can’t because it will mean trouble for Johnny.

So he was ready to bear the pain of staying apart from his brother to help his friend stay safe, which shows how much family and friendship are important in The Outsiders.

Final Word

Family and friendship is an important theme in The Outsiders. In the novel, we learn that no matter what happens, a family is always there for you. However, we also learn that family isn’t necessarily the one you are born into – Real family is the one you create for yourself when your own blood and flesh betrays you.

Dally keeps the boys safe by telling them to run away and tells them where to hide. As the boys escape, Johnny keeps watching while Pony is sleeping. He is willing to sacrifice his own sleep and comfort for that of his friend.

Pony realizes that losing his friends, his brothers, is worse than anything else in his life and this depicts the importance that is given to friendship in The Outsiders.

This article was brought to you by professional writers and tutors. According to StudyDriver experts, the Outsiders friendship is one of the most popular friendship themes in books, thus often searched by students.