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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 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 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 don't 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. `We're gonna do you a favor,

greaser. We're 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 isn't dead: "...That still

body back in the hospital wasn't Johnny. Johnny was

somewhere else-maybe asleep in the lot..."

The supporting cast in the story is the gang and other

characters. The gang members have long descriptions from

Ponyboy's 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 plot-the streets in the "wrong

side of town".The author's 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 dawn-this 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 development-it

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.

Author's 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 book-usually 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 Ponyboy-there was uncertainty and I was

anxious about what is going to happen next. The way the plot

develops is easy to follow and to understand-the

writer does not make it too complex.

To conclude I can say that the author's 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.

Critic's 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.

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