"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

Essay by car1car2High School, 10th gradeA, May 2006

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Self-discovery is one of the most important journeys a person can take. Life changes when a person realizes his/her own true self. The novel "The Outsiders", deals with affairs that are very close to the hearts of teens. The story is about fourteen years old Ponyboy who is tough and confused. The author S.E. Hinton tells the story of the young main character Ponyboy who goes on a quest that leads to self discovery; as he learns from his loyal brother Sodapop to not fight with Darry, from examining his life not to use violence, and from his friend Johnny to "Stay gold". In Jane Yolen's poem Open a book, the main theme of self-discovery it developed, by using a free verse poem to discover the world through Books.

Although Darry and Ponyboy will probably still have misunderstandings, they are able to stop fighting with the help of their brother Sodapop. At first, Ponyboy thinks that Darry does not like him because he always hollers and fights with him. One day at night, Ponyboy and Darry are fighting because Ponyboy is getting bad grades at school. Sodapop becomes nervous from this fight and he runs away from home. He is angry and frustrate because of the tension at home and he wants to live like one strong family. Darry and Ponyboy become worried about Sodapop, and then they go and search for him. After they find him, Sodapop tells them:

'"Please. Do not fight anymore"

"We're not going to fight anymore." Darry said softly

"Sure little buddy, we're not going to fight anymore."

"No more fights. Okay, Ponyboy"

"Okay," I said. And I meant it." (Hinton. 184-185)

Ponyboy understands what Sodapop means and he decides do anything to stop hurting him or his brothers. Later...