In the book The Outsiders a lot of character seem to grow up and come of age. I don't really think that in this book age is what matters. It's more about the events that happen to you and how these events change your life. I noticed that a lot of sad things happened in this book and afterwards the people involved seemed to grow up. Maybe after these terrible things happen the survivors have more responsibility. It's not even always death, sadness in general seems to make people mature and act older.
The main character of this book is called Ponyboy. His parents are dead and now he lives with his two older brothers Darry, and Soda. Ponyboy and Darry are always arguing and angry with each other. One day Ponyboy runs away with his best friend. When Ponyboy finally gets back to Darry two of his friends have died and everything seems different. When he sees Darry again he realizes how he has enough problems without fighting with his brother. I think this shows maturity that Ponyboy was able to be the bigger person and stop fighting with his brother.
Another important character in this book was Johnny. He was Ponyboy's best friend. He had always been an innocent quiet kid untill one day he killed someone who was trying to drown Ponyboy. This experience really changed Johnny. Anyway, a few days after this while hiding from the police a building caught on fire with children in it. Johnny went into the building and was able to save all of the children but he lost his own life in the fire. Johnny had always been scared and quiet but after killing that kid he realized how precious life is and saved those children. Most kids would have been to scared to do this but Johnny did it anyway.
There was one more very important character in the book, his name was Dally. He was areally tough kid that had been to prison a bunch of times. People twice his size were afraid of him. When people looked at him they saw only hatrid. He was mean to everyone he met, it seemed like there was no one that he really cared about except Johnny. He would beat up everyone except Johnny. It was like he was the only thing that mattered to Dally. When Johnny died in the fire Dally killed himself. I guess it was like when Johnny died he realized all his hatrid wasn't going to get anything done. He realized that if you have nothing that you love then there isn't any reason to keep on living.
What I'm trying to say is that when terrible things happen to people they grow up. Most people would think that this is a good thing but I'm not sure. When people grow up they lose the innocence that children have. In the end though wether it's a good thing or not sad things kind of make people just more tough n general and this leads to maturity and coming of age.