Table of Contents Plot Overview Ponyboy Curtis belongs to a lower-class group of Oklahoma youths who call themselves greasers because of their greasy long hair.
The story is placed in Oklahoma during the s. In the first chapter, Ponyboy introduces himself and gives a brief history of his family. He also describes the relationships between his gang members, and the relationships within his own family.
Ponyboy is the youngest at 14, Sodapop is 16, and Darry is The authorities allow the three brothers to stay together as long as they "behave. All of the members come from dysfunctional homes and need the gang relationship as a substitute for what is missing in their own families.
As Ponyboy walks home alone after going to a movie, he realizes the inherent danger of doing so. He explains to the reader that he is a greaser, a term "used to class all us boys on the East Side," which is the poor side of town.
Greasers are known for their long, greased hair. Walking home alone is dangerous because the rival gang, the Socs, could easily attack him. The Socs, short for Socials, are "the jet set, the West-side rich kids," who are from upper-middle-class families.
Ponyboy explains that the gangs are "just small bunches of friends who stick together, and the warfare is between the social classes.
Analysis The narration of this story by a year-old boy allows for the novel to be written in an easy-to-read format. The first chapter introduces three major themes immediately.
Whether someone defines himself or herself as an outsider or insider depends on his or her personal perspective or viewpoint. An outsider sees things differently than someone who is directly involved in a way of life. The East Side greasers are "outsiders" to the West side of town, the "rich" side.
To an outsider, West-side life can look very appealing, but it is unappreciated by the Socs who live there.
Not like the Socs, who jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks. Pony and the rest of the greasers must deal with the hardship in their own lives, while the Socs enjoy all the advantages of class privilege.
The idea that life is not fair is a matter of perspective. After the Socs attack Pony, he thinks, "I had just as much right to use the streets as the Socs did, and Johnny had never hurt them. Why did the Socs hate us so much?
Family love and the intricate relationships that are forged therein is another theme touched on in Chapter 1. During adolescence, many people begin to examine their own roles in their family structures.
Darry has taken over the role of the father, the disciplinarian and the rule maker; Ponyboy even notes a physical resemblance between his real father and Darry. However, Ponyboy wants Darry to be supportive, regardless of the grades he receives. Colors in a black and white world. The third theme of colors in a black and white world is important in building the depth of the novel.
Teens often see only two sides — black and white — of every issue. Describing Dally, Hinton alludes to the color range: Generally, she associates warm colors with the Socs and cool colors with the greasers.
The greasers view the Socs as insiders and themselves as outsiders. However, in describing Soda, she acknowledges that his hair color changes in the summertime. By giving readers such extreme details of hair and eye coloration, the author suggests that perhaps the greasers primarily see the world through a filter of chilling inequity.
A minor theme prevalent throughout Western literature and established here in Chapter 1 is the power of three. This is a dominant theme found in many fairy tales and much folklore, and thus it makes sense that it would also appear in the narration of a story told by a year-old boy.
Hinton introduces the theme here with the three brothers. Together they have the strength to be a family and face the challenges that the world offers. Note that as the novel opens, Ponyboy, one of the three brothers, is alone and thus more vulnerable than if he were with his two brothers.
Glossary Paul Newman b. Corvair a Chevrolet automobile model.A short summary of S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Outsiders.
The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school.
Hinton was 18 when the book was published. Plot summary of The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Part of a free Study Guide by rutadeltambor.com When Hinton published The Outsiders in , she used her initials so that readers would think she was a man.
It was assumed by publishers, in that pre-young adult era, that readers would not believe that a woman could write realistically about the urban street world that Hinton’s first novel depicts. The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school.
Hinton was 18 when the book was published. The Outsiders (SparkNotes Literature Guide) by S.E. Hinton Making the reading experience fun!
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