Looking from The Inside: “The Outsiders”


Looking from The Inside: “The Outsiders”

The Outsiders is a film that’s narrated by a 14-year-old boy. He lives with his older brothers after their parents die in a car accident. The three live in a not-so-good neighborhood and are all apart of a gang, The Greasers.

This film reminds me of, Rebel Without a Cause, because it displays how without proper guidance, teens use violence and the need to dominate over one another to express their emotions. In the instance of this film, the three brothers struggle even more after losing their parents. Despite one of the brothers wanting more out of life, it all goes to dust when Johnny stabs a member of a rival gang during an altercation. This leads to the boys hiding out in an abandoned church, awaiting the consequences of their actions.

The Outsiders, shows how social class and poverty has an impact on one’s wellbeing and decision-making skills in life. Due to some teens not being able to attain most of the necessities significant to living, they turn to pledge loyalty to gangs to survive, and in most cases, these stories lead to tragedy because of their devotion and sense of “family” to these gangs.

This film can be viewed as a rites of passage film, as the three characters “narrative depicts the [their] experience of trauma as the catalyst for [their] development,” but in this instance, their passage doesn’t lead to maturity as Lesley Speed explains in her article, Tuesday’s Gone (Speed 25). Speed states that with an understanding of why a traumatic event happens, the teenage population mature into attentive adults, but there are so many factors that get in the way of teenagers understanding these traumatic events with clarity. In the instance of this film, the element that stops their understanding is poverty and being in a lower social class. So instead of their trauma leading to growth and maturity, It leads to bad decisions due to the need for surviving and attaching to the gang-lifestyle because of financial disabilities.

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