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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 some of the slang probably seem...

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, through his eyes. As a narrator, Ponyboy strikes us a pretty honest and...

Genre

S.E. Hinton weaves together some very compatible genres to create the overall effect of The Outsiders. After the initial introductions to the characters and the basic conflicts, we find ourselves o...

Tone

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 tell us in inte...

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?

Well, first, it seems important that the title is plural. The Outsider, singular, might suggest that Ponyboy is most focused on personal isolation – from family, friends, and society at large...

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 p...

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 li...

Trivia

S.E. Hinton shares her inspiration for the beginning of The Outsiders: "One day, a friend of mine was walking home from school and these 'nice' kids jumped out of a car and beat him up because they...

Steaminess Rating

None

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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