We can explore Gwendolyn Brooks' famous poem "We Real Cool" in the context of Hinton's novel "The Outsiders." Brooks' poem helps us appreciate the tight nature -- both in terms of tenseness and in brotherhood -- of the gang members from The Outsiders. These guys are "wrapped too tight" in many ways, out of habit and for their survival. And yet they care for and depend on each other in ways they can't fully express. Think of Dallas distraught about Johnny, Darry’s distress about Pony, or Pony’s willingness to go anywhere to be with Johnny. The style of “We Real Cool” reflects the tightness of their gang. Getting to know how Brooks does that helps us appreciate her craft in writing and, by extension, the tight nature of gang life.