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The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton


A group of poor kids hold their own against a group of rich kids, losing two of their members in the process.

About the Author

Susan Eloise Hinton wrote The Outsiders when she was just 16 years old in 1967. She wrote it in response to a “greaser” friend who got beat up by a gang of “socs”. All characters are loosely based on people she knew growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Key Facts

Setting: Tulsa, Oklahoma mid1960s

Tense: Past

Point of View: Ponyboy (first person)

Narrator: Ponyboy Curtis

Protagonist: Ponyboy Curtis

Antagonist: Class differences
Pre-Reading Questions

  1. The author of the book is female, but the narrator of the story is male. How might the author’s female perspective influence the story?

  1. What do you know about the 1960s? Interview a family member and/or research on the internet about teenage life in the 1960s—What was going on in the United States in the 1960s? What was popular in the 1960s—music, movies, fashion, hang outs, etc.?

  1. Who were Paul Newman, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles? How did they change the 1960s culture?

  1. Why do you think this story deals with social class issues, rather than race issues?

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