Society tends to punish only the poor for their visible crimes, although the invisible crimes of rich are more severe and heinous than those of the poor. “The Outsiders” and “Saints and Roughnecks” commonly point towards one issue i. e. future of individuals is decided by the way they are treated by the materialistic society which tends to favor the richer and suppress the poorer to the extent that the latter are pushed into social exclusion. The society in which we live can be principally divided into two types of people; the rich and the poor.
People belonging to both of these classes can be criminals, but it appears as though the poor are always the ones committing delinquent acts. The poor get noticed for their crimes because their region is specific and a scarcity of resources which causes them to be less smart in hiding their crimes unlike the rich. Moreover, the crimes committed by the rich are too abstract to be taken into account, in that, they offer psychological torture to the poor in the form of abuse or insult to which they physically react and are punished. The Outsiders” and “Saints and Roughnecks” form part of the vast literature that has preserved the different standards of justice for the rich and the poor, which have always dwelled in society. The poor have always been looked down upon by the society in general, and the rich in particular. This social attitude has resulted into the emergence of such concepts as social exclusion, which forms the basis of the widespread crime among the poor. In fact, the absorption of rights of the lower class people by the upper classes is the fundamental cause of the rise of social exclusion.
As pointed out in Saints and Roughnecks, rich kids are able to maintain a good reputation among the family and neighbors only because it is easy for them to get away with all their bad deeds because of the facilities and resources made available to them by their rich parents. They can use their own cars to commit the crime in other cities without getting the local police to catch them, while it is not possible for the poor criminals without the car to escape the suspicion of the local community. Thus, it is easier for the rich to indulge in criminal activities and keep out of the reach of police than the poor.
Poor children are turned into criminals because of the social injustice and exclusion they are offered by the richer society. Pony boy and his friends of “The Outsiders” and the Roughnecks of “Saints and Roughnecks” are similar in the way they are treated by the society and the way they respond to the treatment they are offered. Society tends to sideline the poor for their physical misconduct. Poverty and social exclusion together induce a feeling of revenge among the poor and they indulge in physical offences.
Crimes of the rich are more heinous because they are more often than not, a root cause of the physical reaction shown by the poor. In view of this argument, a large proportion of the prisoners we know come from low class backgrounds. This is evident from the fact that the major forms of crime i. e. murder, drug possession, drunk driving, physical offence etc require very little / no money to be committed. (Caplan, 2007, para. 1 ). Power has always been the property of rich. The wish to dominate others is in the nature of man. With all the power and resources they have, it is easy for the rich to play with the emotions of the poor.
This is exactly what is termed as social injustice and is the root cause of social exclusion of the poor. This induces feelings of revenge in the poor and their revenge is more physical than otherwise because all they have is physical power. This physical revenge is both a cause and effect of the social exclusion and the crime. The way an individual is perceived or labeled in the society shapes his mentality and has a big role in deciding his future. If one knows how to carry oneself in the public, the public would accept one and overlook one’s delinquencies.
But this does not mean that others who are just not as good at hiding their delinquencies are worse. The society should eliminate the differences between the rich and the poor. Only if the society attempts to accept the temporary misconduct of the poor and cooperate with them and calm them down psychologically, the number of criminals can be significantly reduced. Works cited: Caplan, Bryan. “Why do the poor commit more crime? ” 13 June 2007. 20 July 2010. < http://econlog. econlib. org/archives/2007/06/why_do_the_poor. html>.