The Outsiders Lesson 6: Can You See the Sunset From the Southside Very Good?

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10852

Do things always turn out the way you expected? Are you getting an ominous feeling about The Outsiders? Why? Learn about foreshadowing as you watch the gangs in action and learn some new vocab words!


Literary Studies, Reading

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Watch this scene, Cherry and Ponyboy: you dig o.k., and make an inference (prediction of what you think is going to happen) based on the conversation between Cherry and Pony. Pick one specific element to support your inference:

Think about the short scene you just watched.

  • How do you feel about Cherry after watching that scene, especially knowing Johnny's condition? Do you think she's right to not visit him? Why or why not?
  • Do you think she's telling the truth about the "no weapons" at the rumble agreement? Why or why not?
  • What do you think she means when she says, "Bob had something special that made people want to follow him?" Simply because a person is a strong leader, does that make him or her a good person? Explain your answer.
  • Do you think Johnny is getting what is due him for killing Bob?
  • Why do you think Ponyboy changes the subject to ask her if she could "see the sunset from the Southside very good?" What significance does this have with regard to his feelings toward Cherry?
  • What do you think is going on between Pony's heart and head when he sees Cherry in her Corvette, speaking for the Socs?

  • Do you think this particular scene is an example of foreshadowing? Explain your answer.

What is foreshadowing, you may ask?

  • Did you ever get the feeling you knew exactly what was about to happen in a book or movie?
  • Did you ever open up a book and read a phrase like,"It can't hurt now," and think the worst, but still hope for the best?

Those little clues are called foreshadowing, and, as soon as you open up to Chapter Eight, you get an ominous feeling about Johnny.

Foreshadowing is a literary device where a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story or a chapter and helps the reader make inferences (predictions based on events on the story and personal experiences) about what is going to happen.

A writer can use a variety of methods to create a foreshadowing:

  • A foreshadowing can be in the form of a dialogue between characters to hint at what may occur in future.
  • Just about any event or action in the story may give a subtle — or not so subtle — hint about what is going to occur.
  • Even a title of a work mentioned in the story, such as Gone with the Wind, may be a clue.

Foreshadowing in fictional works creates suspense and keeps the reader interested. Were there any specific points in Chapters Seven through Nine that made you want to keep reading? Record any examples of foreshadowing in your reading journal and discuss them with your teacher or parent.

In the short clip in the opening, we see the scene from the end of Chapter Eight, when Cherry delivers the news to Johnny that the Socs were willing to adhere to the Greasers' terms of the rumble: Greaser turf and no weapons.

Today, gang violence rules inner-city streets. You hear news daily about young people being killed by gun violence that is often gang-related. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a great deal of fighting on city and suburban streets alike.

Think back to the second lesson in this series, "Talkin' 'bout My Generation," where, in one of the video clips, a young man states there were so many teens due to the baby boom, they just didn't know what to do with themselves.

Rumbles like the one illustrated in The Outsiders were prevalent, and they did not discriminate across social, economic, or ethnic lines. Kids fought over girls, their turf (the area they claimed as their hang-out territory), who had the better car, etc. These fights were an excuse to prove dominance, as well as something exciting to do on a Friday or Saturday night. In fact, these early gang and turf wars, such as the one between the Greasers and Socs, were a precursor to the escalation of gang-type violence across the U.S.

In the novel, the rumble is inevitable; some might say unavoidable. Why? Why do you think Darry agrees to fight? Why do you think Randy does not want to fight?

The only rule put forth for this particular rumble is one by the Greasers: "No weapons." Why do you think this is the case? Why do you think the Socs hold true to their word?

Discuss the issue of the rumble, particularly Darry's role, with your parent or teacher.

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