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Monday, October 2, 2017
Sample Essay -- Two-Bit Charged with Shoplifting
It is well known that "Greasers, characters in S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders, steal things. . . and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in awhile"(3). Of course, as Ponyboy Curtis clarifies in the book, not all Greasers commit all of the crimes listed, but at least one has applied himself to becoming an expert at stealing from local stores (3). Keith (Two-Bit ) Mathews should be found guilty of shoplifting because he has in his possession a knife he stole from a store, he has a reputation for shoplifting, and his own friends will testify that they think of him whenever they see things lying out unwatched in a store.
The most important piece of evidence that Mr. Matthews is guilty is the knife he carries around. Ponyboy Curtis, a close friend of Mr. Mathews, disclosed that Two-Bit acquired the knife using his "first talent" -- shoplifting (10). The same knife was later borrowed by Dallas Winston to use in rumble between the local Greasers and Socs. So not only did Mr. Mathews shoplift the knife, but he also gave it to another young man who has an extensive record with the police.
Another proof that Mr. Mathews is guilty is that he is known for his shoplifting.
Further testimony from Ponyboy Curtis reveals that "He was famous for shoplifting" (10). It takes repeatedly doing something to become famous for it, so Two-Bit Mathews obviously has had a lot of practice stealing items from stores.
Finally, when those who know him see a situation where it would be easy to shoplift, they think of Keith Mathews. Another friend, Johnny Cade, once visited a store in Windrixville and stated that, "Things were layin' out wide open, just waitin' for somebody slick like Two-Bit to come and pick 'em up. He coulda walked out with half the store" (74). Mr. Mathews has clearly done so much shoplifting that his friends automatically think of him when they see items lying out in a store.
His attorneys might encourage a judge to feel sorry for Mr. Mathews because he is being raised by a single mother, and the family does not have very much money. However, poverty is no excuse for thievery. Keith Mathews could get a job, "and help out around [his] place instead of bumming around" as pointed out by Ponyboy Curtis (114). And surely his mother, who works hard to support him would not want her son to steal.
Therefore, Keith Two-Bit Matthews should be found guilty of shoplifting because he possesses stolen goods and because his friends have admitted that when they think of him they think of his shoplifting skills. Rather than sending him to jail for a long time, the prosecution recommends that the court give him a short jail sentence and then require him to find employment and pay back the stores for the items he has taken. This would punish Mr. Mathews for his crimes, and hopefully help a young man change his ways.
Topic Sentences are highlighted in green.
to Essay Helps for The Outsiders Essay: Is Johnny Cade Innocent or Guilty?