The Outsiders: An Analysis


By: Yanir Seroussi
Teacher: Mr. Saphir
Class: 9s

Introduction

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 author\'s
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 plot—without 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 Johnny\'s death because it was said that: “He was tougher than
the rest of us—tougher, 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: Johnny\'s death: “The pillow seemed to sink a
little, and Johnny died.” (page 157). Dally\'s 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 heroic—
they were just humans—it 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 Ponyboy—the narrator—and 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 Soda\'s best buddy since grade school. Steve\'s 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