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The Outsiders

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At a Glance

S.E. Hinton


The plot development in the middle of the story was sensible and easy to understand. It was clear and simple, and the events have occurred in a reasonable order. The ending of the story was a bit expected. I anticipated the death of Johnny because a broken neck usually means death. I did not think that such a tough person would get himself killed because of a death of a friend, although it was said a short time before the death of Dally that: The climaxes at the end of the story were the deaths of Johnny and Dally.

Here are quotations about the deaths: He was dead before he hit the ground. To conclude I can say that the plot development was simple and easy to understand and to follow. The author organized it in a way that fits the actual content of the plot. Hinton, were not very heroic-they were just humans-it was easy to believe that this is the way they should be. The characters in the plot give the reader a feeling this can be a true story. The author has created the personality of the characters through the descriptions of Ponyboy-the narrator-and through their actions.

Following are some examples of these methods of getting familiar with a character. Here is an example for a description of Ponyboy: The reader can find this kind of descriptions almost everywhere in the story, but especially in the beginning. I think the author put them there because the reader does not know the characters, and he needs to get familiar with them.

The descriptions make the reader know the characters better and understand their actions. A good example of an action that was taken and suggested something about a character is the way Dally was killed. He wanted the police to kill him, so he robbed a store, and the police officers shoot him.

This shows that Dally was sensitive to a death of a friend although he acted like a tough guy. The dialogues in the stories show the thoughts and the feelings of the speakers. The way the gang members talk shows that they are gang members and street boys, because they speak in street slang. When the socs talk to greasers, the reader can feel their aversion to them. Following are some examples for dialogues that indicate something about the characters.

Here is an example for a dialogue with slang in it: The highlighted words and phrases are ones that will not be used in formal writing and they even contain grammar mistakes. Here is an example for the hate the socs have to the greasers: The reader can feel the hatred of the socs to the greaser in this dialogue when they tell him what they are going to do to him.

The central figure of the story is Ponyboy that is also the narrator. Here I would analyze his character. The physical description of Ponyboy can be found in the first page of the book, page 9: I wish they were more gray, because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be content with what I have. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut.

Besides, I look better with long hair. He is a bit naive sometimes, like in page 45 when he tried to convince himself that the only difference between socs and greasers is that greasers like Elvis and do not like the Beatles and socs like the Beatles and do not like Elvis.

The supporting cast in the story is the gang and other characters. The other characters in the book do not have long descriptions, and they usually appear in small parts of the plot to help its development. To conclude I can say that the characters have contributed a lot to the coherent development of the plot. The characters are believable and they enhance the feeling of realism in the story. Hinton I will discuss the setting. The neighborhood where the gang lives is a place that fits the plot well, and helps to understand it.

A good example for a description would be the one in page 85, of the dawn: All the lower valley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in small clouds. The sky was lighter in the east, and the horizon was a thin golden line. The clouds changed from gray to pink, and the mist was touched with gold. There was a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. The story happens in the s in the US, it lasts a few days.

The author usually describes every part of the day using Ponyboy. The mood the setting creates is of the neighborhood, and street life. This really contributes to the judicious plot development-it makes it more believable and reasonable.

To conclude I can say that the setting fits the plot and the characters in a very good way. Parents, teachers, and other authority figures are always telling them how to live their lives. This loss of control inevitably leads to the feeling that life isn't fair. For example, Ponyboy knows that he is not safe walking the streets in his own neighborhood.

He could be attacked solely because of the way he is dressed; he feels like an outsider in his own town. His feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability lead him to conclude that life is not fair. Ponyboy sees injustice on a daily basis. His parents are dead, Darry is forced to work two jobs to support the brothers, Soda has dropped out of school, and the greasers are looked upon as "white trash.

Because he is from the poor, East Side of town, his place in life is unfairly predetermined. The evolution of the family relationships is a recurrent theme in the novel. Family relationships are strained during the teen years, but in the Curtis family, the right to stay together as a family is a constant struggle.

Since the death of their parents, Darry has assumed the responsibility of guardianship for Pony and Soda, and under that pressure he has aged beyond his years. He no longer views the two boys as siblings, but rather as a responsibility.

Darry recognizes Ponyboy's potential and has high expectations for him. Ponyboy complains that Darry is a stricter disciplinarian than his father, but by the end of the book he understands Darry's role: My father didn't yell at me as much as he does. Pony struggles with his expectations for Soda. He is self-conscious about the fact that Soda has dropped out of school, and he wants him to finish his education.

Soda did not do well in school, did not like school, and is perfectly content to work in a gas station — a job he loves. Soda also believes that he is doing the right thing by helping to support his family. Pony doesn't care about any of those facts; he just wants Soda to go back to school. Gang relationships are included in the theme of family love. Ponyboy's gang members need the support and security that they find in the gang. The home life situations that these boys find themselves in are often abusive.

They have turned to the gang for the love and support that should have come from parents. Johnny is painfully aware of the difference between the gang and a family and through him Pony begins to understand how lucky he is to have caring family members: I thought about it for a minute — Darry and Sodapop were my brothers and I loved both of them.

The third major theme that runs through The Outsiders is the use of colors in a black and white world. Adolescents have a tendency to embrace people and events as absolutes. For example, someone or something is either right or wrong; there can be no middle ground. The characters in The Outsiders are either Socs or greasers. People are either rich or poor, good or bad.

Hinton descriptively uses color throughout the book to define and add depth to the characters in their environments.


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Despite its critics, The Outsiders became a commercial success and won numerous awards. In , it was named one of the best teen books by the New York Herald Tribune and was also a Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book.

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Get free homework help on S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. In The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton tells the story of year-old Ponyboy Curtis and his struggle with .

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Book Report On The Outsiders - Book Report On The Outsiders Character Analysis: Ponyboy Curtis - Ponyboy is a fourteen-year-old member of a gang called the Greasers. His parents died in a car accident, so he lives alone with his two older brothers, Darry and Soda. The Outsiders Essay Examples. total results. An Analysis of the Book "The Outsiders" By S.E. Hinton. 1, words. 3 pages. An Analysis of the Movie The Outsiders Starring C. Thomas Howell and Patrick Swayze. words. 1 page. Essay Writing Blog; Follow. Facebook. Twitter.

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Essay on The Outsiders Words | 4 Pages. The Outsiders The title of the story is The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton wrote it. Dell Publishing published the book. The main characters include Ponyboy, Darry, Soadapop, Dally Winston, Johnny, Cherry, Two-Bit, and Marcia. The Outsiders study guide contains a biography of author S. E. Hinton, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About The Outsiders The Outsiders .