Photos Speak Louder Than Memories
This is an essay I wrote about a character in the book, "The Outsiders." The character is Sodapop Curtis.


Complexity is something you have to look for. Numerous amounts of people think they know a person by the way they dress, talk, act, and just appearance in general. It is shocking sometimes when you actually get to know a person. Maybe the person wearing all black listening to heavy metal is fun and exciting to be with. Many people also might be scared of people that might wear certain things, talk a certain way, or just silly things like that. A good example of someone with complexity is Sodapop Curtis in The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Sodapop shows his complexity by describing to Ponyboy why he likes fights with the Soc’s. Ponyboy is taking a survey about why his brothers and gang members like to fight with the Soc’s. Ponyboy walks up to Sodapop and his best friend Steve while they are playing cards. “You like fights, don’t you, Soda?” Ponyboy asks. “It’s action. It’s a contest. Like a drag race or a dance or something, (p.133)” Soda replies. From this quote, I think of him as a rough and tough guy. He is involved with gangs and likes to fight. With Sodapop, there is a lot more than meets the eye.

The other side to Sodapop is sympathy. He shows sympathy when he stands up for his little brother, Ponyboy, after some Soc’s jump him. Ponyboy and Sodapop’s other gang members start giving Ponyboy a hard time about making the right decisions. Sodapop sticks up for him when he says, “Leave my kid brother alone, you hear? It ain’t his fault he likes to go to the movies, and it ain’t his fault the Soc’s jump us, and if he had been carrying a blade it would have been a good excuse to cut him to ribbons, (p.13)”. When he sticks up for Ponyboy like that he shows his sympathetic side. He understands Ponyboy’s situation. He is understanding and happy-go-lucky. He is always easy going throughout the book. Sodapop is tough, but also sympathetic and happy-go-lucky.

            Third, Sodapop has a sensitive side. He shows that side when he tries to run away from home. He tries to run away from home because of his issues with his girlfriend and his brothers. Soda figures out his girlfriend Sandy, whom he plans to marry, is pregnant and the father is not Soda. What happens in that time period when you get pregnant in high school is you run away from home. Soda is forgiving and still wants to marry her. He tries to contact her by sending a letter, and she returns it unopened. He is already sad, and then something else happens. Darry, Ponyboy, and Soda are at home, and Darry gets mad at Ponyboy for not doing his schoolwork. They get into an argument and try to get Soda to take sides. They often try to make Soda take sides and he can’t take it anymore so he runs away. They catch him and try to work things out. Soda says, “Golly, you two, it’s bad enough having to listen to it, but when you start trying to get me to take sides…” (p.176). Soda really isn’t mean and hard as nails. He really is a sensitive person.

In conclusion, Sodapop is a complex character in The Outsiders. Because of this, people like him and respect him. From people like Dally, to Pony he gets along with just about everybody. His split personality makes him a very interesting character. He makes people feel better because he cares about everyone. If Soda too weren’t in the story, Pony would be depressed all of the time. I am a bit complex. If you are nice and respect me, I will be nice and respect you. If you do something that really bugs me, I won’t put up with it. When I know you are kidding about something you do or say to me, I don’t mind, but if I ask you not, to and you keep doing it, I get angry. I think it makes life easier and harder for me. People like me when I am nice, but when I get angry people get the wrong idea.    

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