Hinton, at seventeen, set out to create realistic characters by writing about the juvenile gangs who clashed at her Tulsa high school. The characters had genuine lives (The entire section contains 263 words.)
He also created an atmosphere that felt real by using local locations for most of his scenes (The entire section contains 1170 words.).
Finally, Hinton made the story line interesting and compelling by giving each character a purpose (The entire section contains 257 words.).
Overall, the characters in The Outsiders feel real because Hinton wrote about real people living in a real city. His characters have intentions, motivations, and feelings just like you or I would be in similar circumstances.
When she wrote The Outsiders, Hinton was not a member of a gang, but she was a friend to many greasers. Her best praise, she says, was that her greaser pals enjoyed the book. Although she had Soc pals, she did not consider herself to be a member of that group. She said they were more interested in sports and music than in gangs.
Hinton's description of the garish clothes worn by the geeks and jocks of Pony League town is still accurate today. And although the term "greaser" was once derogatory, it has since been adopted as a badge of honor by some young people who enjoy doing the things that punkers used to do: riding motorcycles, surfing waves, etc.
Here are some other facts you should know about The Outsiders:
It was first published in 1959.
The novel's original title was simply "The Gang". Hinton changed it after reading several reviews under this title. She decided to keep it because many people seemed to like it.
It took Hinton five years to write. During that time, she held several jobs so she could pay the bills while dreaming up new chapters. The book was successful from the beginning; it has never gone out of print and has been translated into 26 languages.
Hinton died in 2001 at the age of 85.
S.E. Hinton expresses the concept in The Outsiders that teens may break through stereotypes if they look at life from a different perspective, as seen in the novel when Ponyboy begins to talk to Cherry and Randy and finds the prejudices about them are wrong. He also says that being an outsider is not so bad, since it gives you a chance to watch life go by.
Stereotypes include ideas or beliefs about what groups of people have in common; for example, boys will be boys and athletes are always hungry for success. Stereotypes can also include behaviors or attributes, such as all boys having short tempers or all football players being big and aggressive. Finally, stereotypes can include tastes or preferences, such as everyone liking cookies or music by The Beatles.
In the novel, S. E. Hinton describes several examples of stereotypes that exist among the other teenagers at East High School. For example, one boy believes that all Italians are criminals and another boy thinks Mexicans are "wastes of time and resources". Some others believe that black people are lazy or that girls' names like Jessica and Tiffany are only good for shopgirls. Finally, some students think that punkers are trashy and greasers are clean and well-dressed.
The main characters in the story don't fit any particular stereotype.
Hinton exhibited a wide range of personalities as she created each character in her novel "The Outsiders." Two-Bit is the Greaser with the longest history. He's the prankster. He enjoys stealing and playing games of chance. Two-Bit also has a rebellious side that likes to argue with authority. This leads to him getting into many fights at school with his friend Enrico.
Two-Bit comes from a poor family. His father is always drunk and his mother tries hard but fails to get by without any help from her husband. Two-Bit has a brother named Enrico who is much older than he is. They live with their own set of problems since their parents love them but can't handle them at the same time. For example, Enrico gets in lots of fights at school while Two-Bit causes trouble by stealing things and playing games of chance.
When Two-Bit isn't doing these things, he likes to sit around with his friends talking about girls and sports. Two-Bit is very loyal to those who have shown him friendship. If you treat him right, he will always come through when you need him most.
Here are some quotes that describe Two-Bit's personality: "a swaggering menace" "a bit of an idiot" "a little punk".
The Outsiders is written in a conversational tone. Hinton uses slang, conversation, and repetition to produce an informal style that is a genuine picture of how kids in 1960s Oklahoma, particularly greasers, spoke with one another. He also describes scenes vividly, using action, dialogue, and character analysis to bring his characters to life.
The novel is told from two points of view: that of Ponyboy Curtis, who lives next door to the Spenders, and that of John Green, who lives with his family on a farm near the town of Southtown. Both boys are attracted to the same girl, Sandy Dolan, but she likes Ponyboy because he's in trouble with the police often due to his involvement in fights at school. However, when her father gets fired from his job, she starts dating John instead.
Ponyboy and John both serve as eyes into which the reader can gaze; however, they also offer different perspectives on the events of their time. For example, while Ponyboy is looking out for number one, saying things like "I'm not scared of no cops", John is more concerned with what others think of him and his family.
When discussing styles, many writers make a distinction between realistic fiction and other types of writing. Realistic fiction is based on actual events or people taken from history.