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The outsiders essay-Why?
The Outsiders essays
S.E.Hinton wrote the novel “The Outsiders” in 1967 when she was a seventeen year old girl. Some laud the book as an excellent example of “young adult literature”. Some call it yet another lame justification of perverted teenage reactions to all sorts of problems. The Tinseltown messiahs scented buck. They made a movie from the novel in 1971. Outside USA, not many readers of English fiction seem to know much about the book.
Let us look at the question “The outsiders essay-Why?” Many in the world face a variety of more serious problems. How many of them react the same way as the characters of the novel do? A negligible minority! Why divert the sewer to the mainstream potable water? What is there to learn from an expression of erroneous empathy?
The book is nothing more than a mediocre melodrama. It does not deserve such exaggerated academic interest, notwithstanding the age of the Author when she wrote the novel. The language is not great. The narrative is just run of the mill. Why not spare the students the pain of writing “The outsiders” essays? Don’t they have anything better to do?
The plot is the usual stuff about enlightenment of teenagers after unsavory experiences “foisted” on them. Eventually someone advises the lead character to “stay gold” and enlightenment dawns! There is a lull. The author follows up by writing many more books with similar veneer.
The three Curtis brothers are teen-aged orphans leading a difficult life. The first brother works hard to fend for the others. The last one Ponyboy, is the lead guy, narrator of the story and the protagonist of the author’s ideas. Remember him in your “The outsiders” essays.
Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1960s is the setting. The Curtis brothers and their friends are “The outsiders”, that is, social outcasts. Naturally they are part of the “Greasers” gang, the champions of the underprivileged! Gangs naturally result in fisticuffs. Understand the greaser with a switchblade. Such harmless activities lead to manslaughter in the later part of the story because of unfortunate social maladies. These are just “rumbles” (sic).
The adversary of greasers is another teenage gang called “Socs”. Socs are rich boys of a privileged background replete with limousines and other vulgar trappings. After all they are also neglected by their families and have natural social prejudices.
Many “Rumbles” follow. Why leave teenage infatuations? They make rumbles spicy! More rumbles. One soc dies. Ponyboy and another greaser, Johnny go into hiding. They decide to surrender, save many children from a burning church.
More rumbles. Ponyboy is injured. His eldest brother and Johnny die. Peace with socs follows greasers’ victory. Suddenly they realize that rumbles are futile. Ponyboy is discharged from the hospital. He writes an English term paper in school, which is this story.