The Outsiders Criticism

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Criticism

Jane Elizabeth Dougherty

Jane Elizabeth Dougherty is a doctoral candidate in English at Tufts University. In the following essay, she examines The Outsiders as a coming-of-age novel, focusing on Ponyboy's choices between growing up too soon and never growing up.

David Ansen has called The Outsiders "the prototypical young adult' novel." Written when S. E. Hinton was sixteen, it is widely credited with ushering in a new era of "realism" in the writing of young adult novels. Yet Hinton's book also contains haunting lyricism; indeed, the tension between dreamy romanticism and hard-knock realism is part of what the book is about. In the early pages of the novel, Ponyboy Curtis tells us of his two brothers: "Darry's gone through a lot in his twenty years, grown up too fast. Sodapop'll never grow up at all. I don't know which way's the best. I'll find out one...

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This section contains 7,581 words
(approx. 19 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Outsiders Study Guide
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