Motif in Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders”


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Essay #: 070414
Total text length is 6,895 characters (approximately 4.8 pages).

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The beginning:
Motif in Ford Coppola’s "The Outsiders"
Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders is the story of the rivalry between two gangs, the Greasers (the poor boys) and the Socials (the wealthy boys) that turns for the worse one night, when two Greasers –Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio)- are harassed and beaten by the Socs, and one of the attackers is killed.
Although, during the movie there are many motifs spread
around, from the repetition of dialogues to the constant mention of the Greasers’ hair to the two-bit switchblade to the mention of literature’s passages, one recurring motif is particularly interesting: the appearance of a train. This element becomes visual or aural every time a Greaser is experiencing or facing a transitional...
The end:
.....ngs and evolution. It works as a transition -sometimes smooth, some others loud- from his dreams to his reality. It represents his trip through life, from adolescence to adulthood. It is his warning alarm and his silent comforter. And its occurrences fade away little by little as Ponyboy, and his gang, grow and become more mature.
The last time we hear the train’s whistle, Ponyboy has understood what he wants in life and what he will not continue to tolerate. He will be different, he will go to college, and just as Johnny told him, he will “Stay Gold”, no matter what.
The Outsiders. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. Perf. C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Diana Lane and Emilio Estevez. Zoetrope Studios, 1983.