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The Outsiders - Analytical Essay

Essay by   •  November 4, 2012  •  Essay  •  648 Words (3 Pages)  •  3,931 Views

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This analytical essay will explore how S.E Hinton privileges the concept of friendships in the youth society of her novel 'The Outsiders (1967)'. In the novel , S.E Hinton has foregrounded belonging to a youth society of the 1960's is extremely important to have a strong friendship inside the 'Greaser' social group. The novel is set against the background of 1967 in Oklahoma (US). The storyline is based on the fictional daily life of youth, their friendships and gang culture. The two main social classes, the Socials, abbreviated to 'Socs', are members that are from a wealthy background in the west side of Oklahoma. The 'Greasers' are the main characters, which come from less-fortunate families and are born into the east side. In the novel, it is important to always have a friend nearby, if not it is dangerous because of the Socials gang culture.

In her novel, S.E Hinton explores the dimension of trust in the friendship of Ponyboy and Johnny. They are tough looking but they both have soft personalities, this is evident in a passage where Hinton has written, I quote: "I couldn't tell Two-Bit or Steve or even Darry about the sunrise and clouds and stuff." (p.96) Ponyboy's and Johnny's growing bond is foregrounded in the plot when their escape to Windrixville sets the scene for a much more intimate setting. Hinton privileges their strengthening bond in the transcourse of this event. The literary device Hinton has used in the passage that we read, I quote: "'Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold...' The pillow seemed to sink a little and Johnny died." This quote is a metaphor given the meaning of innocence that is found in Ponyboy.

Throughout the novel, S.E Hinton has foregrounded the extent to how each member of the gang cares for one another, like a family. This is evident in a passage where we read, I quote: "You take up for your buddies, no matter what they do. When you're a gang, you stick up for the members. If you don't stick up for them, stick together, make like brothers, it isn't a gang any more. It's a pack." (p.33) Darry, the eldest, is characterised as the big brother of everyone. He takes care of everyone's troubles, and especially his own brothers Sodapop and Ponyboy. They all trust and care for one another. If anyone of them is in trouble they will stick together, especially Johnny, Ponyboy and Dally, though Dally isn't a character mentioned very often throughout the novel. But the characters aren't only friendly with each other.

The way in which Randy Adderson and Ponyboy respect one another, though they are from different gangs and supposedly hated each other, in which is evident in a passage where we read, I quote: "I recognized Randy Adderson, Marcia's boyfriend, and the tall guy that had almost drowned me. I hated them."(p.140) after the first encounter for the two,

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