The Outsiders | Critical Essay by Thomas Fleming

This literature criticism consists of analysis & critique of The Outsiders.
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Can sincerity overcome clichés? In ["The Outsiders"], by a now 17-year-old author, it almost does the trick. By almost any standard, Miss Hinton's performance is impressive. At an age when most youngsters are still writing 300-word compositions, she has produced a book alive with the fresh dialogue of her contemporaries, and has wound around it a story that captures, in vivid patches at least, a rather unnerving slice of teen-age America.

"The Outsiders" is told in the first person by 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis—a "greaser" or lower class kid who slicks his hair and slouches around in T-shirts and jeans. Arch rivals of the Greasers are the Socs—short for Socials, kids with Madras shirts and Mustangs. Apparently in Tulsa, where Miss Hinton sets her story, the poor guys don't beat up the rich guys. It works the other way...

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