The Outsiders | Critical Essay by Sheryl B. Andrews

This literature criticism consists of analysis & critique of The Outsiders.
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Critical Essay by Sheryl B. Andrews

Using the background and a sprinkling of the characters from her first book, The Outsiders, [in That Was Then, This Is Now S. E. Hinton] tensely builds up an atmosphere of violence, catalyzed constantly by the vicious cycle of justice which demanded that every score be personally settled by some means of retribution…. The scenes portrayed are sometimes ugly; the decisions forced on the characters are often motivated by basic survival needs, emotional as well as physical; and Bryon's final commitment to himself and to his future is harshly and realistically underlined in an ending that offers no pat promises. This is a disturbing book and perhaps in some senses a too contemporaneous one, but it will speak directly to a large number of teenagers and does have a place in the understanding of today's cultural problems...

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