What is the setting of “The Outsiders”?

Updated 21 March, 2023
"The Outsiders" is a coming-of-age novel written by S.E. Hinton in 1967. The setting of "The Outsiders" is Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the 1960s. The novel follows the conflict between two groups, the Greasers and the Socs, who are separated by their social and economic status. The Greasers are portrayed as the "outsiders" of society, while the Socs are the wealthy and privileged group. The setting of the novel is significant because it reflects the societal issues of the time, including poverty, violence, and class struggle.
Detailed answer:

The setting of novel "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the mid-1960s. The city is divided into two distinct groups: the Socs and the Greasers. The Socs are wealthy and privileged, while the Greasers are poor and often overlooked by society. The setting of the novel is essential to the story as it creates a clear social divide between the two groups and establishes a sense of tension and conflict.

Hinton's detailed descriptions of the setting help to transport the reader into the world of the Greasers. For instance, in the opening scene, the protagonist Ponyboy Curtis walks home from the movies and describes the streets he passes through, saying "The darkness was complete, but the lights of the houses and the stores in the distance gave off a hazy glow, and we could hear the sounds of cars and sirens and radios." This description gives the reader a sense of the environment that Ponyboy and his friends inhabit, where violence and danger are always lurking.

The setting also plays a significant role in the themes of the novel, such as the idea of the importance of family and community. The Greasers rely on each other for support and protection, creating a sense of camaraderie in the face of adversity. Hinton's vivid descriptions of the setting help to establish this sense of community, such as when the Greasers gather around a fire in an abandoned lot, talking and joking with each other.

Overall, the setting of "The Outsiders" is a crucial aspect of the novel, as it helps to establish the social and economic divide between the Socs and the Greasers, creates a sense of danger and tension, and plays a significant role in the themes of family and community. Hinton's skillful use of descriptive language helps to transport the reader into this world, making it a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers today.

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