Friendships and relationships in our lives are very important to us and they mold us into who we are. In The Outsiders , by S.E. Hinton, the role of the gang is like a surrogate family. The novel is centered on these relationships.

Gangs are like families in the sense that they are a unit of security. The greasers gang formed due to various reasons, the main being the absense of many family members both physically and emotionally. Soda, Darry and Ponyboy Curtis lost their parents at a young age from a tragic car accident. The three brothers turned to friends for unconditional love and support that they didn’t have at home. Darry had no choice but to step up and be the father figure.

Johnny didn’t have parents who cared emotionally enough about him and therefore, depended on the gang to love him and help him through life. It is clear in Johnny’s relationship with Dally and Ponyboy that they fill the void that is missing. Johnny was looking to escape his negative home life and depended on Dally for advice.

Outsiders (comics) - Wikipedia

SparkNotes: The Outsiders: Chapters 1–2 (page 2)

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