(These were made before you gave me the feedback, so much of the feedback will apply here too, sorry)
When in course of thought about this topic question. It was quite hard for me to answer it to a proper manner. As I feel as though both factions of this conflict are both, in essence an evil to society and general practice of order. We never truly get to hear the point of view from the Socs, and while I am all for the greasers within the story. If this story was a reality, it is the two extremes. A good example of this is the Reclaim Australia and ANTFA movements in Australia which are violent towards each other and cause devastating amounts of damage in regional and urban environments. So that is why I’ve detailed three arguments for why they are just as bad as one another. The first being the sameness in nature, the second being the arguments for the Socs and the Third being the argument for the Greasers and the final paragraph being that the questions play off the very nature of the book and further continues the theoretical divide.
To which we ask ourselves the differences towards these two factions be it say poor-rich, it prays upon our nurture biases, (Nobody is immune to the biases) which is not helped by the perspective of the protagonist growing up around and following the very narrative of the faction. And so I ask these question. Would the child glorify his or her parents even if said individuals were harsh or brutish? Of course, this was the fundamental that deterred me from writing about the greasers. I realised that I sympathised blindly with the protagonist as he played to my biases (Such as, being poor, being an orphan, a near victim complex and innate bias)(And please let me say that, indeed I really do like the greaser characters). And if I may refute some points:
- What about Bob and his gang? He tried to kill and jump people, how can you defend such a group like that?
Well, to put it so simply. The faction to which is being defended in this point is fallen to the fallacy of likeness.
Dally and Bob both were unstable thugs and profligates, for two different reasons.
Ponyboy, Johnny and Randy both saw that the violence were of no cause.
Paul and Darry can both be described in quote by Ponyboy:
“That’s stupid, I thought swiftly, they’ve both come here to fight and they’re both supposed to be smarter than that. What difference does the side make?”
The likeness of near all characters are described that transcribes the sameness that is the “divide”
B. Don’t you believe to which the socio-economic position of the socs and the greasers entitle more empathy or understanding for the greasers?
As far as I see it, with all the information gathered. This divide could be in reaction to one another. With provocation coming from either side. So in the natural evolution of events of gangs. It always in a feudal system of provocation and caucus belli. So whilst the greasers are of poorer class, this is no caucus belli for hostile, that said the socs may be the provocateurs also. So the way I see it the reactionary jingoist cause of both groups, no matter the surroundings of either group are barbaric and cannot be justified.
The argument in defence of the Socs.
This is disregarding the caucus belli arguments. The Socs have a reason to be violent, the Greaser culture is that of violence. To which we never truly grasp in the book.
“a hatred of the whole world. Dally had spent three years on the wild side of New York and had been arrested at the age of ten. He was tougher than the rest of us— tougher, colder, meaner. The shade of difference that separates a greaser from a hood wasn’t present in Dally.
This sentence describes the most violent member in the seemingly most peaceful gang in the town. And whilst it does say that he says that hoods and greasers are fundamentally different it also says, within the same sentence.
“He was as wild as the boys in the downtown outfits, like Tim Shepard’s gang.”
When you live in a town that is ravaged from rampant crime which tangible to the common plight of a failing city. Of course you would react in the only correct manner, that being you defend your homeland, your family and your town. Society at large looks at them as detrimental just for defending that, that they hold dear. And whilst not all greasers act in a criminal manner, the majority seem to conduct themselves in such manner, whilst the socs like to party, sure. But they are also the brightest of their day, policy makers, engineers etc… So whilst the socs are not the pinnacle of ethics or morality, they are justified.
The argument for the Greasers:
The greasers of the lower socio-economic areas, are constantly harangued not only by the opposing socs but the general populace which drives them into the fringes of society. And all because they stand up for one another against the discrimination of one another. They scrape the barrel to survive and they are constantly harangued, whist the Socs break laws for fun and beat up the greasers for petty reasons. The reason Greasers fight back is simply because if they don’t they will fall to near serfdom and oppression of the hegemonic class. And they only work in a reactionary state to the socs and protection of their peers. And just because they are of the working class does not entitle socs to treat them like trash… So whilst the greasers are not the pinnacle of ethics or morality, they are justified.
In finality, even the justification for why the Soc-Greaser divide as a happening is prevalent to the narrative that I propose, that they are both a likeness. And that this task plays against the underlying theme of the book, that no matter what great divide we face, we are all one. Interconnected one race, one class. And that race and class is mankind, and that the Soc-Greaser divide is a foolish endeavor. So I say this, indeed to which I do not empathize with either Soc or Greaser. Neither are correct in such circumstances. And in finality a quote from the character PonyBoy sums it up best.
“’Im not saying that either Socs or greasers are better; that’s just the way things are.”
The character that I wish to compare both were hardened, beaten, bruised, wild and ferocious in youth, but yet as they grew older they realised that the sanctity of the gang, guild systems were obsolete. I will be comparing the High-Sparrow from “A Game of Thrones: A Feast for Crows” what makes them very similar was as mentioned earlier the disenfranchisement from the societies to which they were born. However the dissimilarities were the starting principles to which they accompanied, and how each of them reacted to the enlightenment of a new peaceful way of thought.
Both the High Sparrow and PonyBoy share the same pacifist nature after events within their lives. The similarities between the two seem to stem from events in their lives that caused them to abandon a lifestyle choice. With PonyBoy, Johnny acting in self defence and murdering Bob was his trigger to start on a journey of thought challenge when it came to the environments that they both lived. For The High Sparrow, he lived a life of excess being of profligate and wastrel in nature, one night he after a night of fighting, drinking and excess in other ecstasies he gave up his life to become a travelling priest. This is important because it shows both the meaning of pacifism during the 1960s to both authors George R.R Martin and S.E Hilton. They both grew up in a time where pacifism was becoming more and more widespread. Quotes from both of them my favourite quotes from both.
“Can you see the sunset real good from the south side? Cause you can see it real good from the North side too”
“The poor disgust us because they are us, shorn of our illusions. They show us what we would look like without our fine clothes. How we’d smell without perfume.”
Both of which, (One more directly than the other) the likeness in one another, no matter how big the divide they both see that no matter what class you are. You both participate in actions such as look at the sunset and without the wealth Socs would be Greasers.
No matter how similar they are, there is a major dissimilarity between the two, that is how they react after the fact they realise that they are the same. Whilst the High Sparrow walked out of his large estate shoeless and helped the people. Whilst PonyBoy due to the environment could not give up his hatred for the Socs and continued to fight. But the reasoning towards both give us an indication of the motives behind the two. One is influenced by compassion, the other anger. And even if PonyBoy wanted to walk away from his life, he would walk away from his family and friends. And that shows us the biggest difference. The top value of the two
The High Sparrow values charity and equality whilst PonyBoy values family and honour.
In finality PonyBoy is in likeness to many a character. He shows the classic story trope of the protagonist realising that the enemy is indeed, like him a common man. And this trope goes on over time as humanism grows. And that we realise that indeed we are all a likeness.