Monday marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of S.E. Hinton’s cult classic The Outsiders. Hinton wrote the novel while still attending high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and when she signed the publisher’s contract in May 1966, her mother had to co-sign because the author was still a teenager.
At the time, the book’s prospective title reeked of dreamy abstraction. The back matter of Penguin’s recently published 50th anniversary edition, which contains reproduced archival documents and photographs, reveals an interesting tidbit: The Outsiders was originally titled A Different Sunset and went through a number of suggested name changes in the months leading up to publication.
In a July 1966 letter, Hinton’s editor, Velma Varner, advocates new names for both author and title—modifying Susan Eloise to S.E. in order to hoodwink boy readers who might be resistant to reading a female author and changing the title to The Greasers. In September, Hinton replies to the title change, telling Varner, “I don’t like ‘The Greasers’ because for one thing, they’re not known as ‘greasers’ all over the country.” She concludes her typed letter with a plea: “And please help me think of a title.”
Hinton must have dashed off three new ideas soon thereafter, because the next letter from Varner on Sept.r 22 responds to them, calling them too poetic; they were based on the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which features prominently in the story. Varner counsels, “They will not attract many teenage readers.” (As Ponyboy or Johnny Cade might have put it, they weren’t tuff enough.) Varner mentions a few other contenders in the same letter: North of Division Street, The Long-Haired Boys, and The Boys in Blue Jeans, none of which thrilled. “The consensus here,” writes Varner, “is for ‘The Switch-blade Boys.’ ”
On October 3, a last-ditch telegram from New York arrived in Tulsa. It read in full: “How about The Leather Jackets?”
Ten days later, when Varner wrote again, author, agent, and editor had finalized the title The Outsiders. Hinton’s story of a gang of friends from the bad part of town fighting (or rumbling, as it were) with the rich kids captivated American adolescents. According to Jon Michaud, Hinton “single-handedly brought the Y.A. genre into being.” The 1983 film adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola starring Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, and Matt Dillon created a new generation of fans, and the book has sold more than 10 million copies.
Essay on The Outsiders
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The Outsiders The title of the story is The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton wrote it. Dell Publishing published the book. The main characters include Ponyboy, Darry, Soadapop, Dally Winston, Johnny, Cherry, Two-Bit, and Marcia.
This story is about a guy names Ponyboy who is a “greaser”, a member of a group of lower-class youths who wear their hair long and greasy, wear jeans and ripped-up T-shirt, and are at odds with the rich-kid bullies known as the “Socs”, shorter name for socials. One day, as Ponyboy is walking home from a movie, he is jumper and beaten by a gang of Socs. At the last minute, his gang of greasers (including his brothers Darry and Sodapop, who raised Ponyboy now that their parents are dead,) the hardened hood Dally…show more content…
Then Ponyboy runs out the door, finds Johnny, and goes to the park. There, however, the two young greasers run into randy and bob, with a huge group of their Socs friends. One of the Socs friends hold pony boy’s head under a cold water fountain, and Ponyboy blacks out. When he comes to, he is lying on the ground next to Johnny. The bloody corps of bob is next to them. To save Ponyboy, Johnny had to kill bob.
Terrified and confused, the two greasers hurry to find Dally, the one person the think can help them. Dally sends them with a gun and some money to an abandoned church near Windrixvill, where they hide out for a week, they cut their hair to disguise their appearances. After a week, dally comes to check on them, and says that since bob died, the Socs and the greasers have become worse then ever, a giant rumble is to be held the next night to settle the matters once and for all. Cherry feels responsible for the whole problem, acted as a spy for the greasers. Johnny surprises Dally by declaring his intention to go back to Tulsa and turn himself in. Dally drives them back, but as they leave, the notice that the church has caught on fire and it had a large group of schoolchildren inside. Ponyboy and Johnny rush inside the church to save the children. Just when they get the last child through the window, the roof caves in and Ponyboy blacks out again.
This time when Ponyboy wakes up he’s in an ambulance. IN the hospital he