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Outsider(A) Essay, Research Paper

THE OUTSIDERS BY S.E. HINTONIntroductionIn this book analysis, about the book The Outsiders by S. E. HintonI will discuss character and plot development, as well as the setting, theauthor s style and my opinions about the book. In this part of the analysis Iwill give some information about the subjects of the book, and about theauthor. The author wrote the story when she was just 16 years old, in the1950s. The book was successful, and it was sold, and still being sold, inmany copies as a young adults novel. There was a movie made about it,and today there are still many schools that use this book in junior high andhigh schools for English classes. There were plays made about the booktoo. The Outsiders is about a gang. They live in a city in Oklahoma.Ponyboy Curtis, a 14 year old greaser, tells the story. Other charactersinclude Sodapop and Darry, Ponyboy’s brothers, Johnny, Dallas, and Two-Bit, that were also gang members and Ponyboy’s friends. This story dealswith two forms of social classes: the socs, the rich kids, and the greasers,the poor kids. The socs go around looking for trouble and greasers to beatup, and then the greasers are blamed for it, because they are poor andcannot affect the authorities. I hope you would enjoy and learn something about the book fromreading this analysis. Plot DevelopmentThe plot development in the book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton,was easy to follow. In this part of the book analysis I will give some moredetails about the plot development. There were no hooks or hurdles in the beginning of the book, the firstsentence starts right away with the plot without any forewords. This isthe beginning of the first sentence: When I stepped out into the brightsunlight from the darkness of the movie house… (page 9). As you can see,it goes straight to the point without any prologues or any kind ofintroduction. The plot development in the middle of the story was sensible andeasy to understand. It was clear and simple, and the events have occurredin a reasonable order. The ending of the story was a bit expected. I anticipated the death ofJohnny because a broken neck usually means death. The death of Dallywas not as predictable as Johnny s death because it was said that: He wastougher than the rest of us tougher, colder, meaner. (page 19). I did notthink that such a tough person would get himself killed because of a deathof a friend, although it was said a short time before the death of Dally that: Johnny was the only thing Dally loved. (page 160).The climaxes at the end of the story were the deaths of Johnny andDally. Here are quotations about the deaths: Johnny s death: The pillowseemed to sink a little, and Johnny died. (page 157). Dally s death: Hewas jerked half around by the impact of the bullets, then slowly crumpledwith a look of grim triumph on his face. He was dead before he hit theground. (page 162). To conclude I can say that the plot development was simple and easyto understand and to follow. The author organized it in a way that fits theactual content of the plot. Character DevelopmentThe characters in the book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, were notvery heroic they were just humans it was easy to believe that this is theway they should be. The characters in the plot give the reader a feeling thiscan be a true story. The author has created the personality of the characters through thedescriptions of Ponyboy the narrator and through their actions.Following are some examples of these methods of getting familiar with acharacter. Here is an example for a description of Ponyboy: Steve Randlewas seventeen, tall and lean, with thick greasy hair he kept combed incomplicated swirls. He was cocky, smart, and Soda s best buddy sincegrade school. Steve s specialty was cars… (page 17). The reader can findthis kind of descriptions almost everywhere in the story, but especially inthe beginning. I think the author put them there because the reader doesnot know the characters, and he needs to get familiar with them. Thedescriptions make the reader know the characters better and understandtheir actions. A good example of an action that was taken and suggestedsomething about a character is the way Dally was killed. He wanted thepolice 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 heacted like a tough guy. The dialogues in the stories show the thoughts and the feelings of thespeakers. The way the gang members talk shows that they are gangmembers and street boys, because they speak in street slang. When thesocs talk to greasers, the reader can feel their aversion to them. Followingare some examples for dialogues that indicate something about thecharacters. Here is an example for a dialogue with slang in it: …so I canstill help Darry with the bills and stuff…Tuff enough. Wait till I get out…Itold you he don t mean half of what he says… (page 26). The highlightedwords and phrases are ones that will not be used in formal writing and theyeven contain grammar mistakes. Here is an example for the hate the socshave to the greasers: Hey, grease, one said in an over-friendly voice. We re gonna do you a favor, greaser. We re gonna cut all that longgreasy hair off. (page 13). The reader can feel the hatred of the socs tothe greaser in this dialogue when they tell him what they are going to do tohim. The central figure of the story is Ponyboy that is also the narrator.Here I would analyze his character. The physical description of Ponyboycan be found in the first page of the book, page 9: I have light-brown,almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes. I wish they were more gray,because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be contentwith what I have. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squaredoff in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most ofmy neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look betterwith long hair. He is smart, according to page 12: …I make good gradesand have a high IQ and everything… . He is a bit naive sometimes, like inpage 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 andsocs like the Beatles and do not like Elvis. Sometimes, Ponyboy isdaydreaming and not connected to reality, like in page 158, when he triedto convince himself that Johnny isn t dead: …That still body back in thehospital wasn t Johnny. Johnny was somewhere else maybe asleep in thelot… The supporting cast in the story is the gang and other characters. Thegang members have long descriptions from Ponyboy s point of view, andthey are part of the plot development. The other characters in the book donot have long descriptions, and they usually appear in small parts of theplot to help its development. To conclude I can say that the characters have contributed a lot to thecoherent development of the plot. The characters are believable and theyenhance the feeling of realism in the story. SettingIn this part of the book analysis about the book The Outsiders byS.E. Hinton I will discuss the setting. The setting is appropriate to theplot the streets in the wrong side of town . The author s descriptions are deep but easy to understand. Theneighborhood where the gang lives is a place that fits the plot well, andhelps to understand it. A good example for a description would be the onein page 85, of the dawn: …The dawn was coming then. All the lowervalley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke offand floated away in small clouds. The sky was lighter in the east, and thehorizon was a thin golden line. The clouds changed from gray to pink, andthe mist was touched with gold. There was a silent moment wheneverything held its breath, and then the sun rose. It was beautiful. Thiskind of description made an image in my mind of a beautiful dawn thiswas a word picture. The story happens in the 1950s in the US, it lasts a few days. Theauthor 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 morebelievable and reasonable.To conclude I can say that the setting fits the plot and the charactersin a very good way. This is the best setting that can be for this kind of plotand characters, because other setting would make the story ridiculousbecause a street gang can only fit into the streets. Author s StyleIn this part of the book analysis, about the book The Outsiders byS.E. Hinton, her style of writing would be discussed. The word usage in the dialogues between the gang members is ofstreet slang. In the descriptions there are less simple words and moredescriptive and artistic words (look at Setting and Character Developmentfor examples). There is suspense in the book usually in the middle of chapters that makes the reader to want to read what will happen next. An examplefor suspense is when the socs have tried to drown Ponyboy there wasuncertainty and I was anxious about what is going to happen next. The way the plot develops is easy to follow and to understand thewriter does not make it too complex. To conclude I can say that the author s style is easy to read and notcomplicated. Reading the book is enjoyable and there is no need to lookup words in the dictionary. Critic s ChoiceIn this part of the book analysis I will write my opinions about thebook The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The book really focuses on what some kids in the US have to gothrough. One problem is how Ponyboy has to grow up without parents.Another problem is that the characters are in a gang and at war withanother gang. A problem with the family that was shown in the story isthat kids today may have parents that are alive, but they might not haveenough time for them. Also, kids are worried about not fitting in and mightjoin gangs to act cooler . It also shows how if a member of a family hasan injury it’s tough for the family and friends. This happens when Johnnygets hurt and he did not want to see his parents. Also, it was a problem forPonyboy because he was worrying about him the whole time. I think TheOutsiders is an average book. It really does show how these things canaffect a family and friends. The book was rather good. It would have been better if it was writtenin the 90s, and not in the 50s. This is because then young people that livetoday time can correlate with it. I think people who enjoy action and some adventure, should read thisbook, because the action, the writing, and the adventure are powerful.There is always something going on. For example, when Ponyboy waswalking through the park, and three socs came out of the bushes andjumped him. This is one of the many times that problems between the twogangs end in destruction. One other reason to read the book is that the endof each chapter of the book does not leave you in suspense. You do nothave to keep reading to solve a problem. There is always something biggoing on, such as when Johnny broke his back trying to rescue childrenfrom a burning church.A thing that reduced the realism of the story was the names of thepeople (i e Ponyboy, Two-Bit, Sodapop). I have never known people withthese strange names there are no parents who would give their childrennames like these. To conclude I can say that the book was not very good but it was nottoo bad either. The writing is clear and easy to understand. SummaryIn this part of the analysis I will give a general summary of the wholeanalysis of the book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and discuss thedifficulties I had preparing it. I found the book hard to relate to in some parts because of thedifferent time it was written in the 1950s. A good example for it was thatPonyboy thought the big difference between socs and greasers was that thegreasers loved Elvis and the socs loved the Beatles. Since I was not bornat Elvis and the Beatles time and I do not like either of them I cannotrelate to it. The were two other reasons for why it was hard to relate to thebook: the first reason is that my life is not like the lives of the characters inthe book. The things that Ponyboy and his brother did, I would neverdream of doing. For example, I would not beat up people or gang up onpeople. The second reason is that I think it would be hard to live a lifewithout parents as Ponyboy does. To conclude I would like to say that the book has made me see theway people that are living on the streets in the wrong side of the town behave and feel within themselves. It is like going behind the scenes of agang. 10

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