"Stay Gold"

Essay by angel_in_loveJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2003

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This book report was done for S.E. Hinton's novel, THE OUTSIDERS. In my essay, I explore the quote, "stay gold" and it's meaning. I used a poem that was in the novel to express this topic (the poem is by Robert Frost). What it basically is about is the cycle of life.

Title: "Stay Gold"

I have just recently completed reading S.E. Hinton's novel, The Outsiders. The author raises many topics faced by the teenagers of her time. Issues such as peer pressure, violence and family problems faced by the youngsters still apply to the teenagers of today. In the book, Johnny, one of the central characters draws the reader's attention to a poem. In a letter written by the dying Johnny to Ponyboy, he advises his friend to continue to (pg 154) "…dig sunsets… That's gold. Keep that way, it's a good way to be…" In this essay, I will be concentrating on the quote "stay gold" and its meaning.

This quote was taken from a poem written by Robert Frost which Ponyboy had trouble figuring out its meaning. To me, the poem appears to be comparing our youthful years as being as valuable as gold. We are to enjoy our time when we are young for it is the "…hardest hue to hold…" on to. It is also saying that our childhood years are very short and feels like "…but only so an hour…" As we grow older, our garden of "…Eden sank to grief…" The beginning of our life will quickly end as "…dawn goes down to day…" So in the end "…nothing gold can stay…" which refers to the end of our innocence. (All quotes taken from pg69)

In the book Johnny also comes up with his interpretation of the poem. "…you're gold...