The Outsiders Lesson 8: Product of Our Families, Our Environment, or Ourselves?

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10887

Since the dawn of time, people have engaged in blameshifting. Do we blame our parents, our environment, our friends for our behavior? In the end, we are responsible for our own decisions. Aren't we?


Literary Studies

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Spend a few minutes interacting with this Prezi, The Outsiders Chapter 11 Overview with Video:

Think about the primary differences between the Greasers and the Socs.

Do you think one group is made up of individuals with a higher sense of moral standards than the other? Explain your answer to your teacher or parent.

Chapter 11 is one of hope. Things have changed very quickly for Ponyboy during the last few days, but he has come to some extremely important realizations about himself as an individual, and about his family.

As Ponyboy is waking from his illness and concussion, it becomes very clear to him that he has in his brothers, as well as in Two-bit, a group of individuals who genuinely love and care for him. He then begins to think about Bob, contextualizing him as a human being rather than just a "Soc." He recalls Randy's words regarding the way Bob is treated at home.

Take a moment to refer back to that section of Chapter Seven when Randy talks about how someone should have said "No" to Bob.

  • What exactly does Randy mean?
  • Why do you think Bob acted the way he did?
  • Do you think he was a true friend to Randy and the other Socs?
  • How does Cherry fit into the picture?
  • Discuss these issues with your parent or teacher.

As Ponyboy reflects on Bob the person, Randy comes to talk to Ponyboy regarding the trial, and states that he has every intention to tell the truth. Between moments of clarity and genuine empathy shared between the two boys, Pony insists that it was he, and not Johnny, who killed Bob. Why do you think Pony says this? Does he actually believe it? Discuss this episode with your teacher or parent before moving on to the following discussion questions.

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