Literary Evaluation of The Outsiders The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is an endearing and enduring coming-of-age tale with timeless themes, written in an engaging style, encompassing unforgettable characters, and an inspiring storyline, which leaves the reader with a number of valuable life lessons. The greatest allure to this book is in the ability to relate to the lifelike characters and their struggles.
Although the characters are young, ruffian, gang members, their perceptively portrayed struggles with fear, self-doubt, loss and grief, family conflict, uestioning of life’s fairness, and their feelings of being ostracized, are timeless, and many readers will be able to understand and empathize with them. Much of the charm of the book is in the sensitively detailed close, tight bonds of friendships and family. The characters loyalties, compassion, support, and reliance upon one other is heartwarming.
The reader can easily care about, and sympathize with, each of them. These timeless themes, and relatable characters, give the book a relevant and enduring appeal that readers in every generation will continue to appreciate. The author’s use of first-person narration to tell the story enables the reader to feel fully immersed in the events. Her intricate character development facilitates the reader’s ability to fully identify with, and intimately understand each of them.
Hinton’s use of vernacular, or characteristic slang, in phrases like, “l was plannin’ on getting boozed up tomorrow night” (14), and terminology like, “hacked off (12), meaning angry, and, “Tuff enough” (18), meaning cool or sharp, truly helps to further promote character depth and intimacy. Although the story is dependent upon elinquent characters and violent gang warfare between the socioeconomic classes, the author manages to maintain an exciting and captivating storyline without resorting to excessively graphic violence or foul language.
The book uses simple vocabulary and a non-complex plot, so it is a very easy read for teenagers and up. There are a number of great life lessons and values conveyed throughout the book. Such as, loyalty and strong bonds of friendship and family are what is truly valuable and enduring in life. Another is, do not be Judgmental, understand that ost people have big problems to deal with because, “things are rough all over” (Hinton 35).
However, the story’s greatest lesson is to, “stay gold” (Hinton 148), meaning you should stay innocent, pure, and true to yourself. The Outsiders will appeal to the interests of a wide audience. There are enough tough guys, rebelliousness and violence for the boys; enough sensitive guys, tenderness and tears for the girls; and enough wholesome lessons and values expressed for the grown-ups. It is a book filled with memorable characters, a captivating storyline and timeless themes that should not be missed by anyone. By sirlancelotl 118