In this book analysis, about the book “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton I willdiscuss character and plot development, as well as the setting, the authorsstyle and my opinions about the book. In this part of the analysis I will givesome information about the subjects of the book, and about the author. Theauthor wrote the story when she was just 16 years old, in the 1950s. The bookwas successful, and it was sold, and still being sold, in many copies as a youngadults novel.
There was a movie made about it, and today there are still manyschools that use this book in junior high and high schools for English classes.There were plays made about the book too. The Outsiders is about a gang. Theylive in a city in Oklahoma. Ponyboy Curtis, a 14 year old greaser, tells thestory. Other characters include Sodapop and Darry, Ponyboy’s brothers, Johnny,Dallas, and Two- Bit, that were also gang members and Ponyboy’s friends. Thisstory deals with two forms of social classes: the socs, the rich kids, and thegreasers, the poor kids.
The socs go around looking for trouble and greasers tobeat up, and then the greasers are blamed for it, because they are poor andcannot affect the authorities. I hope you would enjoy and learn something aboutthe book from reading this analysis. Plot Development The plot development inthe book, “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, was easy to follow. In this partof the book analysis I will give some more details about the plot development.There were no hooks or hurdles in the beginning of the book, the first sentencestarts right away with the plotwithout any forewords. This is the beginningof the first sentence: “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from thedarkness of the movie house.
..” (page 9). As you can see, it goes straight tothe point without any prologues or any kind of introduction.
The plotdevelopment in the middle of the story was sensible and easy to understand. Itwas clear and simple, and the events have occurred in a reasonable order. Theending of the story was a bit expected. I anticipated the death of Johnnybecause a broken neck usually means death. The death of Dally was not aspredictable as Johnnys death because it was said that: “He was tougher thanthe rest of ustougher, colder, meaner.
” (page 19). I did not think thatsuch 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: “Johnny wasthe only thing Dally loved.” (page 160). The climaxes at the end of the storywere the deaths of Johnny and Dally.
Here are quotations about the deaths:Johnnys death: “The pillow seemed to sink a little, and Johnny died.”(page 157). Dallys death: “He was jerked half around by the impact of thebullets, then slowly crumpled with a look of grim triumph on his face. He wasdead before he hit the ground.” (page 162).
To conclude I can say that theplot development was simple and easy to understand and to follow. The authororganized it in a way that fits the actual content of the plot. CharacterDevelopment The characters in the book, “The Outsiders” by S.
E. Hinton, werenot very heroicthey were just humansit was easy to believe that this isthe way they should be. The characters in the plot give the reader a feelingthis can be a true story. The author has created the personality of thecharacters through the descriptions of Ponyboythe narratorand throughtheir actions. Following are some examples of these methods of getting familiarwith a character. Here is an example for a description of Ponyboy: “SteveRandle was seventeen, tall and lean, with thick greasy hair he kept combed incomplicated swirls. He was cocky, smart, and Sodas best buddy since gradeschool. Steves specialty was cars.
..” (page 17). The reader can find thiskind of descriptions almost everywhere in the story, but especially in thebeginning. I think the author put them there because the reader does not knowthe characters, and he needs to get familiar with them. The descriptions makethe reader know the characters better and understand their actions. A goodexample of an action that was taken and suggested something about a character isthe way Dally was killed.
He wanted the police to kill him, so he robbed astore, and the police officers shoot him. This shows that Dally was sensitive toa death of a friend although he acted like a tough guy. The dialogues in thestories show the thoughts and the feelings of the speakers. The way the gangmembers talk shows that they are gang members and street boys, because theyspeak in street slang. When the socs talk to greasers, the reader can feel theiraversion to them.
Following are some examples for dialogues that indicatesomething about the characters. Here is an example for a dialogue with slang init: “…so I can still help Darry with the bills and stuff..
.Tuff enough. Waittill I get out..
.I told you he dont mean half of what he says…” (page26). The highlighted words and phrases are ones that will not be used in formalwriting and they even contain grammar mistakes. Here is an example for the hatethe socs have to the greasers: “Hey, grease, one said in anover-friendly voice. Were gonna do you a favor, greaser.
Were gonna cutall that long greasy hair off.” (page 13). The reader can feel the hatredof the socs to the greaser in this dialogue when they tell him what they aregoing to do to him. The central figure of the story is Ponyboy that is also thenarrator. Here I would analyze his character.
The physical description ofPonyboy can be found in the first page of the book, page 9: “I havelight-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 content withwhat I have. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off inback and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of myneighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with longhair.” He is smart, according to page 12: “…
I make good grades and have ahigh IQ and everything…
“. He is a bit naive sometimes, like in page 45 whenhe tried to convince himself that the only difference between socs and greasersis that greasers like Elvis and do not like the Beatles and socs like theBeatles and do not like Elvis. Sometimes, Ponyboy is daydreaming and notconnected to reality, like in page 158, when he tried to convince himself thatJohnny isnt dead: “.
..That still body back in the hospital wasnt Johnny.Johnny was somewhere elsemaybe asleep in the lot…” The supporting cast inthe story is the gang and other characters. The gang members have longdescriptions from Ponyboys point of view, and they are part of the plotdevelopment.
The other characters in the book do not have long descriptions, andthey usually appear in small parts of the plot to help its development. Toconclude I can say that the characters have contributed a lot to the coherentdevelopment of the plot. The characters are believable and they enhance thefeeling of realism in the story. Setting In this part of the book analysis aboutthe book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton I will discuss the setting. Thesetting is appropriate to the plotthe streets in the “wrong side oftown”. The authors descriptions are deep but easy to understand.
Theneighborhood where the gang lives is a place that fits the plot well, and helpsto understand it. A good example for a description would be the one in page 85,of the dawn: “…The dawn was coming then. All the lower valley was coveredwith mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in smallclouds. 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.
Therewas a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. Itwas beautiful.” This kind of description made an image in my mind of abeautiful dawnthis was a word picture. The story happens in the 1950s in theUS, it lasts a few days.
The author usually describes every part of the dayusing Ponyboy. The mood the setting creates is of the neighborhood, and streetlife. This really contributes to the judicious plot developmentit makes itmore believable and reasonable. To conclude I can say that the setting fits theplot and the characters in a very good way. This is the best setting that can befor this kind of plot and characters, because other setting would make the storyridiculous because a street gang can only fit into the streets. Authors StyleIn this part of the book analysis, about the book “The Outsiders” by S.E.Hinton, her style of writing would be discussed.
The word usage in the dialoguesbetween the gang members is of street slang. In the descriptions there are lesssimple words and more descriptive and artistic words (look at Setting andCharacter Development for examples). There is suspense in the bookusually inthe middle of chapters that makes the reader to want to read what will happennext. An example for suspense is when the socs have tried to drown Ponyboytherewas uncertainty and I was anxious about what is going to happen next.
The waythe plot develops is easy to follow and to understandthe writer does not makeit too complex. To conclude I can say that the authors style is easy to readand not complicated. Reading the book is enjoyable and there is no need to lookup words in the dictionary.
Critics Choice In this part of the book analysisI will write my opinions about the book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. Thebook really focuses on what some kids in the US have to go through. One problemis how Ponyboy has to grow up without parents. Another problem is that thecharacters are in a gang and at war with another gang. A problem with the familythat was shown in the story is that kids today may have parents that are alive,but they might not have enough time for them.
Also, kids are worried about notfitting in and might join gangs to act “cooler”. It also shows how if amember of a family has an injury it’s tough for the family and friends. Thishappens when Johnny gets hurt and he did not want to see his parents. Also, itwas a problem for Ponyboy because he was worrying about him the whole time. Ithink “The Outsiders” is an average book. It really does show how thesethings can affect a family and friends. The book was rather good.
It would havebeen better if it was written in the 90s, and not in the 50s. This is becausethen young people that live today time can correlate with it. I think people whoenjoy action and some adventure, should read this book, because the action, thewriting, and the adventure are powerful. There is always something going on. Forexample, when Ponyboy was walking through the park, and three socs came out ofthe bushes and jumped him. This is one of the many times that problems betweenthe two gangs end in destruction.
One other reason to read the book is that theend of each chapter of the book does not leave you in suspense. You do not haveto keep reading to solve a problem. There is always something big going on, suchas when Johnny broke his back trying to rescue children from a burning church. Athing that reduced the realism of the story was the names of the people (i ePonyboy, Two-Bit, Sodapop). I have never known people with these strangenamesthere are no parents who would give their children names like these.
Toconclude I can say that the book was not very good but it was not too badeither. The writing is clear and easy to understand. Summary In this part of theanalysis I will give a general summary of the whole analysis of the book, “TheOutsiders” by S.E. Hinton, and discuss the difficulties I had preparing it. Ifound the book hard to relate to in some parts because of the different time itwas written inthe 1950s. A good example for it was that Ponyboy thought thebig difference between socs and greasers was that the greasers loved Elvis andthe socs loved the Beatles.
Since I was not born at Elvis and the Beatlestime and I do not like either of themI cannot relate to it. The were twoother reasons for why it was hard to relate to the book: the first reason isthat my life is not like the lives of the characters in the book. The thingsthat Ponyboy and his brother did, I would never dream of doing. For example, Iwould not beat up people or gang up on people. The second reason is that I thinkit would be hard to live a life without parents as Ponyboy does.
To conclude Iwould like to say that the book has made me see the way people that are livingon the streetsin the wrong side of the town behave and feel withinthemselves. It is like going “behind the scenes” of a gang.