The Outsiders | Critical Essay by Susan Thompson

This literature criticism consists of analysis & critique of The Outsiders.
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Some writers—Susan Hinton for example—have turned the [peer] group …, its interactions and meanings, into the subject matter of a novel. Hinton's teenage groups grow up too fast, leading grim lives on the wrong side of the law; they carry knives and guns and are no strangers to violence or murder…. [In The Outsiders toughness] is exaggerated and the beauties of friendship and kinship are sentimentalized by frequent repetition. There are also rather heavily delivered messages about young people, particularly the poor ones, being helplessly drawn into the inner-city whirlpool of violence and crime and missing the opportunity to discover the worthwhile things in life.

Theorists have acknowledged the role of social class in determining young people's behaviour and identity: adolescence is not merely a psychological or biological event, nor do all adolescents, as we once assumed, belong to a...

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