Literary Precedents for The Outsiders

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The primary American novel of a youth maturing must be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884). Huck's attempt to view the values and rules of the adult world lead to his own realizations. But more immediate as a precedent for The Outsiders is J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1951). The first-person narrative told by a teenage narrator who is trying to mature and come to terms with himself and the world reminds one of Hinton. The speech rhythms of a teenager were also noted by the critics in this novel. A neglected but sure precedent is also found in West Side Story. This story of teen-age rival gangs in New York who cannot find sense in the adult world, who achieve their status within the gang, and who come to a bette r understanding of each other at the end is similar to Hinton's...

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This section contains 306 words
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Buy The Outsiders Study Guide
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The Outsiders from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.