My 12 year old son’s tribute to the Outsiders by S.E Hinton:
Red Glow, Flames
Little Kids Screaming
and the Haze
Get Out! Coughing
A blocked door
Old Roof Crashing
It was hot
No time to see if he
landed OK or not
I leaped out
Dally clubbed me in the back
and I went down
into a peaceful black
If there were a sequel to the Outsiders, Pony Boy will have escaped social sorting and classification and become a dreamer and a creator without limits. He discovers that limits don’t come from the outside but from the inside and that there are no limits.
Pony Boy and Johnny weren’t greasers. They weren’t fighters. They hadn’t stepped over the line and self labeled themselves yet. They weren’t stereotypes but instead people with ideas and dreams and goals and empathy and love. They hadn’t become jaded.
My 12 year old son Nik is reading the Outsiders in language arts and it has opened his eyes to social stratification as well as thinking about literary methods.
In case you haven’t read the Outsiders book or seen the Outsiders movie. The story is a tragedy, which are out of vogue today (which IS a tragedy). It is about a group of greasers in the 1950s who live on the wrong side of the tracks in Oklahoma City and are bullied by the rich kids (socs).
This book was the most formative piece of literature I read as I was coming of age. As a teenager I identified with Dallas Winston. No… I wanted to be Dallas Winston. Dallas Winston was a fearless fighter, he took the younger guys under his wing, he led the way, but he also had a golden heart which played a larger than life role in the tragedy. Under his mask he had feelings, feelings that he couldn’t express in the positive, so they came out in the only way he knew, with tragic consequences.
The other characters:
Soda Pop Curtis – the gas jockey high school dropout with movie star good looks who had every girl in the city visiting his gas pump.
Pony Boy Curtis – The dreamy reader and writer who loves sunrises but is born into a working class greaser life and tells the story in the first person.
Johnny – Pony Boy’s best friend who tells Pony Boy to ‘Stay Golden’ like the sunrises he loves so much.
To all my fellow Outsiders out there…