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The Outsiders

The Outsiders

  

by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders Analysis

Literary Devices in The Outsiders

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

In The Outsiders, sunrise and sunset are symbols of unity and connection. For example, when Ponyboy connects with Cherry at the movies on the topic of sunsets, he begins to realize that all humans...

Setting

We know The Outsiders is set in 1965 because S.E. Hinton says so in the FAQ page of her website (Source), but not because there's any indication in the novel (though the slang is insanely outdated)...

Narrator Point of View

The Outsiders is told by fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis. So, everything we learn in the story comes from his point of view, and through his eyes. As a narrator, Ponyboy strikes us a pretty honest...

Genre

S.E. Hinton weaves together a couple of pretty compatible genres to create the overall effect of The Outsiders. After the initial introductions to the characters and the basic conflicts, we find ou...

Tone

Vocab recap: "tone" refers to the author's attitude toward the characters, the subject matter, and other elements of the story. This can be especially difficult to suss out when the author doesn't...

Writing Style

S.E. Hinton has a well-stocked writer's toolbox. She knows that mixing things up will help keep us from getting bored. We'll give you a brief tour of some of the elements she uses.ForeshadowingWe c...

What's Up With the Title?

Both S.E. Hinton and her protagonist, Ponyboy, are well aware of the fact that you can be within a group and still exist as an outsider. Notice how the title refers to multiple people: many differe...

What's Up With the Ending?

Ponyboy tells a tragic tale—a tale of violence, of poverty, and of young men dying in the streets. But, luckily, The Outsiders manages to end on a happy note, with most of Ponyboy's major problem...

Plot Analysis

Welcome to the world of Ponyboy Curtis.We first meet fourteen-year-old Ponyboy on a Friday afternoon, in the fall, as he's walking home from the movies. He recently lost both of his parents, and...

Trivia

Hinton says she rereads Jane Austen's work every year, and even took a class on Austen. She says it was even better than being hugged by Matt Dillon. (source)After the success of The Outsiders, Hin...

Steaminess Rating

Nope. Sorry guys. This novel is way more about blood n' guts (n' fire) than it is about "parking" or "necking," or any other mid-century euphemism for s-e-x.

Allusions

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1.77) Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind (5.12, 5.45, 5.69, 8.19, 8.20, 10.60)Robert Frost, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" (5.59, 5.61, 12.64)Jack London (9.80)Haro...

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