Book of the Week: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Tea of the Week: Jasmine Tea
“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home. I was wishing I looked like Paul Newman- he looks tough and I don’t- but I guess my own looks aren’t so bad. I have light-brown, almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes. I wish they were more gray because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be content with what I have. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair,” (1)
A classic coming of age novel about friendship and finding where you belong, written by S.E. Hinton at the age of sixteen is about life and accepting the reality of it. Everyone who says life is easy, is well, a liar. Ponyboy has things set in track for himself. He has his brothers Darry and Sodapop to rely on. He can count on his true friends, like Johnny and Two-Bit. They’re known as the Greasers, and a gang of rich kids (that can do whatever they please) take pleasure in the harm of Greasers. But when someone crosses the line, everything Ponyboy knows is flipped. . .
This is certainly a book that makes me think. The last time I read it was three years ago, and rereading it this week made me realize how much I’ve changed in three years. This is the type of book where you have to read it multiple times, and each time you read it you discover something new about the world, or yourself, and the book. Ponyboy is the character where everyone can say “Oh yeah, that would be me if I was in this book!” And it’s like that, because he’s such a well developed character and his thoughts are what many of us readers have felt at one point, or another in our lives.
It’s also about how realistic this book it, that makes the readers pulled in word for word, sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter. The reader can also see how the external conflict and internal conflicts that Ponyboy has can be put in their old life. Now it’s not the actual problem problem, but the concept that each one has. Like with Darry, Ponyboy constantly feels pressure to do better, and how much he can’t handle it when Darry applies it him, and in our everyday lives, everyone has their version of a Darry. You know, the person that want you to be the best, wants you to be better and better, and how we constantly feel that their nagging is unnecessary. And through reading this novel, we realize that the Darry in our lives, just wants us to be better for the good of our future, and it’s not like they mean bad, they are just putting it in a harmful way towards us.
And while as us, the reader, may not live in an area where there are Socs and Greasers, we still understand the concept that this has of a social hierarchy in our lives. The Outsiders also shows the reader that true friendship has so much meaning throughout this book.
I would say more about this book and how much I love it, but in fear of spoiling it, I won’t say anymore.