The Outsiders ends with its own opening sentence, as Ponyboy begins to write his assignment for English class, and it becomes clear that the story the reader has just finished is the assignment itself. It is inspired by Johnny's letter to Ponyboy, in which he explains what he meant by his last words: "Stay gold." There is no reason for lives to be cut short because of senseless violence between the Greasers and the Socs. Ponyboy feels called to action by Johnny's note, and wants to save the lives of other hoods who might end up like Dally. In Chapter 12, this goal is underlined:
There are many areas you may focus on in choosing the topics. But you have to focus the outsider essay topic on a particular part or aspect of the book. You may wish to discuss the theme that talks about class or social division in the novel. Here, you should have a good look at the rivalry, its causes and implications. Can you tell about the elements in the novel that make the work more real and whose absence will hinder how real the work looks? Exploring this may be the main subject or topic of your essay. You can look at the effects of literary elements like point of views of people and the author, the thematic elements, characters etc. It will be simpler for you to have a look on the similarities that exists between the greasers and the Socs in the essay. Are they different or are the more similar. Explain this. The setting of the novel can also be the topic of the outsiders essay or you may choose to look at physical violence in the work. Choose these topics depending on interest, just as you choose case study topics .