What are the issues explored and techniques used in SE Hinton's "The Outsiders."

Essay by crimsonbutterflyJunior High, 8th gradeA+, June 2004

download word file, 11 pages 4.0

Downloaded 47 times

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf's a flower

But only so an hour

Then leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief

So dawn goes down to day

Nothing gold can stay.

By Robert Frost

The message that this poem brings is that every beautiful thing will die, eventually. Nothing can stay perfect forever. The last sentence "Nothing gold can stay," implies that all good things must come to an end.

S.E Hinton writes of this poem in her novel "The Outsiders." The title itself depicts outcasts of society, those who are socially unaccepted. The story revolves around transcending established boundaries in its portrayal of violence, class conflict, prejudice, family and redemption. The protagonist of this novel, Ponyboy Curtis tells the story of his struggles with right and wrongs in a world of conflict, living in a dysfunctional family and his desire to be accepted by all people of any age, any class.

This is why he believes that he is an outsider. Hinton attempts to humanize her characters, by showing that their exterior toughness masks vulnerability and emotion. As one character tells another, "You get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you." Sadly, for the youths of society, not much has changed.

Susan Eloise Hinton was born in 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All of Hinton's novels are set in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her books deal with teenage problems; such as poverty, rejection, violence, alcohol, and drug abuse. Her first novel, "The Outsiders" was written when she was sixteen years old. It was published in 1967, a period of rapid social change and a rather restless time in the United States when "teen-agers" became outspoken and rebellious. Teenagers resented...