Outsiders – 2193 words – College Essay Essay

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In this book analysis, about the book “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton I will

discuss character and plot development, as well as the setting, the authors

style and my opinions about the book. In this part of the analysis I will give

some information about the subjects of the book, and about the author. The

author wrote the story when she was just 16 years old, in the 1950s. The book

was successful, and it was sold, and still being sold, in many 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 and high schools for English classes.

There were plays made about the book too. The Outsiders is about a gang. They

live in a city in Oklahoma. Ponyboy Curtis, a 14 year old greaser, tells the

story. Other characters include Sodapop and Darry, Ponyboy’s brothers, Johnny,

Dallas, and Two- Bit, that were also gang members and Ponyboy’s friends. This

story deals with 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

beat up, and then the greasers are blamed for it, because they are poor and

cannot affect the authorities. I hope you would enjoy and learn something about

the book from reading this analysis. Plot Development The 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 more details about the plot development.

There were no hooks or hurdles in the beginning of the book, the first sentence

starts right away with the plotwithout any forewords. This is the beginning

of the first sentence: “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight 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 of introduction. 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. The death of Dally was not as

predictable as Johnnys death because it was said that: “He was tougher than

the rest of ustougher, colder, meaner.” (page 19). 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: “Johnny was

the only thing Dally loved.” (page 160). The climaxes at the end of the story

were 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 the

bullets, then slowly crumpled with a look of grim triumph on his face. He was

dead before he hit the ground.” (page 162). 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. Character

Development The characters in the book, “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, were

not very heroicthey were just humansit 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 Ponyboythe narratorand 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: “Steve

Randle was seventeen, tall and lean, with thick greasy hair he kept combed in

complicated swirls. He was cocky, smart, and Sodas best buddy since grade

school. Steves specialty was cars…” (page 17). 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: “…so I can still help Darry with the bills and stuff…Tuff enough. Wait

till I get out…I told you he dont mean half of what he says…” (page

26). 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: “Hey, grease, one said in an

over-friendly voice. Were gonna do you a favor, greaser. Were gonna cut

all that long greasy hair off.” (page 13). 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 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 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 smart, according to page 12: “…I make good grades and have a

high IQ and everything…”. 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. Sometimes, Ponyboy is daydreaming and not

connected to reality, like in page 158, when he tried to convince himself that

Johnny isnt dead: “…That still body back in the hospital wasnt Johnny.

Johnny was somewhere elsemaybe asleep in the lot…” The supporting cast in

the story is the gang and other characters. The gang members have long

descriptions from Ponyboys point of view, and they are part of the plot

development. 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. Setting In this part of the book analysis about

the book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton I will discuss the setting. The

setting is appropriate to the plotthe streets in the “wrong side of

town”. The authors descriptions are deep but easy to understand. 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: “…The dawn was coming then. 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. It

was beautiful.” This kind of description made an image in my mind of a

beautiful dawnthis was a word picture. The story happens in the 1950s 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 developmentit 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. This is the best setting that can be

for this kind of plot and characters, because other setting would make the story

ridiculous because a street gang can only fit into the streets. Authors Style

In 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 dialogues

between the gang members is of street slang. In the descriptions there are less

simple words and more descriptive and artistic words (look at Setting and

Character Development for examples). There is suspense in the bookusually in

the middle of chapters that makes the reader to want to read what will happen

next. An example for suspense is when the socs have tried to drown Ponyboythere

was uncertainty and I was anxious about what is going to happen next. The way

the plot develops is easy to follow and to understandthe writer does not make

it too complex. To conclude I can say that the authors style is easy to read

and not complicated. Reading the book is enjoyable and there is no need to look

up words in the dictionary. Critics Choice In this part of the book analysis

I will write my opinions about the book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. The

book really focuses on what some kids in the US have to go through. One problem

is how Ponyboy has to grow up without parents. Another problem is that the

characters are in a gang and at war with another gang. A problem with the family

that 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 not

fitting in and might join gangs to act “cooler”. It also shows how if a

member of a family has an injury it’s tough for the family and friends. This

happens when Johnny gets hurt and he did not want to see his parents. Also, it

was a problem for Ponyboy because he was worrying about him the whole time. I

think “The Outsiders” is an average book. It really does show how these

things can affect a family and friends. The book was rather good. It would have

been better if it was written in the 90s, and not in the 50s. This is because

then young people that live today time can correlate with it. I think people who

enjoy action and some adventure, should read this book, because the action, the

writing, and the adventure are powerful. There is always something going on. For

example, when Ponyboy was walking through the park, and three socs came out of

the bushes and jumped him. This is one of the many times that problems between

the two gangs end in destruction. One other reason to read the book is that the

end of each chapter of the book does not leave you in suspense. You do not have

to keep reading to solve a problem. There is always something big going on, such

as when Johnny broke his back trying to rescue children from a burning church. A

thing that reduced the realism of the story was the names of the people (i e

Ponyboy, Two-Bit, Sodapop). I have never known people with these strange

namesthere are no parents who would give their children names like these. To

conclude I can say that the book was not very good but it was not too bad

either. The writing is clear and easy to understand. Summary In this part of the

analysis I will give a general summary of the whole analysis of the book, “The

Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, and discuss the difficulties I had preparing it. I

found the book hard to relate to in some parts because of the different time it

was written inthe 1950s. A good example for it was that Ponyboy thought the

big difference between socs and greasers was that the greasers loved Elvis and

the socs loved the Beatles. Since I was not born at Elvis and the Beatles

time and I do not like either of themI cannot relate to it. The were two

other reasons for why it was hard to relate to the book: the first reason is

that my life is not like the lives of the characters in the book. The things

that Ponyboy and his brother did, I would never dream of doing. For example, I

would not beat up people or gang up on people. The second reason is that I think

it would be hard to live a life without parents as Ponyboy does. To conclude I

would like to say that the book has made me see the way people that are living

on the streetsin the wrong side of the town behave and feel within

themselves. It is like going “behind the scenes” of a gang.

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