In The Outsiders the adults are portrayed as horrible. The adults are cruel, mean, and abandoning. S.E. Hinton says, “Blast it, Johnny, what do they matter? Shoot, my old man don’t give a hang whether I’m in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter. That don’t bother me none”. That quote it’s just about Dally’s parent, but for other character as well. That’s why their children are so bad and don’t want to be in their presence anymore. Because of this is why the greasers have make a surrogate family around themselves. Though all of the adult aren’t so bad. In my opinion the children are a reflection or representation of their parents. The children are a mirror image of the parents in some cases.
Johnny has a hard time dealing with his parents. His dad drinks and both his parents bet on him physical, mentally and emotionally. It’s so bad that he (Johnny) would rather be beaten by his dad than anyone else, because that’s the only way his father would notice him. They don’t even notice or care if he’s home or not. Johnny’s parents are so bad to him that he needed the gang because without them he would have to stay in a house where he’s not wanted. In the hospital Johnny didn’t even want his mom to come and see him while he was dying. Ponyboy and Dally were the last people to see him before he died and that’s goes to show how close they are and how they really are like a family.
Bob, a Soc, died because his parents let him do whatever he wanted. They spoiled him rotten and he wasn’t gonna stop them. Once when Bob was out drinking and came back home drunk, his parents blamed it on themselves. They thought they made him do it, and never gave him a consequence. S.E. Hinton says, “To have somebody lay down the law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on. That’s what we all want, really. One time…” His parents never did tell him no and maybe, just maybe if they did he’d still be alive.
Darry is an adult, but at the same time a surrogate parent. He has to put his life goals aside and take care of his two younger brothers. Heck, he could have been a Soc if his parents didn’t die. The book is told through Ponyboy’s prospective, and he thinks that Darry is a bad parent. When in fact everything that Darry does for his brothers, their parents would’ve done the same. Ponyboy just thinks that because Darry’s his brother. Darry is not just all bruin, he cares and is really nice considering all they have been through.
In conclusion, the adults in The Outsiders are a bad influence on their children. They don’t think care about their children and don’t only about what they want. Everyone is the same as their parents, that’s why some characters are better than others. Also that’s why Curtis brothers have the best personalities. Their parents were probably they only parents that where actually there for them. I guess you could say the Curtis brothers are The Outsiders.