The Outsiders | Critical Essay by Lillian N. Gerhardt

This literature criticism consists of analysis & critique of The Outsiders.
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It is rare-to-unique among juvenile books … to find a novel confronting the class hostilities which have intensified since the Depression. The setting of [The Outsiders] is a small Oklahoma city, which underscores the national scope of a current problem and by-passes the subliminal reactions that attach to major cities. The boys in this book are neither unimaginable urban sophisticates nor unassimilated Puerto Ricans or Negroes running berserk; they are the pioneer-stock legatees of Huckleberry Finn. Ponyboy, the 14-year-old narrator, tells how it looks and feels from the wrong side of the tracks and of guerrilla raids into his territory by the traditional, well-heeled enemy from the residential district, and the beating that led to a murder charge and two deaths. The story is exciting and those difficult-to-serve kids at the culturally detached bottom of society can respond to this book, with its revelations...

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Critical Essay by Lillian N. Gerhardt from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.