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The Outsiders by Hinton - Determining the Extent of Its Popularity

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From among her seven novels, four were made into movies depicting the appeal of their themes to the masses. Most of her themes centre on loyalty, transformation accorded through age, identity search and abandonment. (Hipple par. 11) She was able to depict real-life situations written in the point of view of the audience in context. Peck averred in his book review written in New York Times, “ The Outsiders” shocked readers with its frank depictions of adolescents smoking, drinking and “ rumbling” . Although other pop culture offerings had dealt with themes – most notably “ Rebel Without a Cause” and “ West Side Story” – their intended audience was adult.

By contrast, “ The Outsiders” was a story “ for teenagers, about teenagers, written by a teenager” . (Peck par. 1). However, the success of The Outsiders was measured by Hinton in terms of its ability to bring back the joys of reading to children. (S. E. Hinton. com Books par. 3)The Outsiders is S. E. Hinton’ s best selling book. It was published in 1967 by Puffin Books. S.E. Hinton garnered five awards from this book to wit: “ New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Books List, 1967; Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book, 1967; Media and Methods Maxi Award, 1975; ALA Best Young Adult Books, 1975; and Massachusetts Children’ s Book Award, 1979” .

(S. E. Hinton. com Books par. 4) The Outsider is a story about two social groups, the socs and the greasers. Ponyboy, the main character is a greaser, who is proud to belong to this group. A violent event involving his friend, Johnny, lead to the death of one of the socs. The learning experience that evolved from this tragedy taught Ponyboy a lesson he would never forget. There are several factors that lead to the extraordinary popularity of a book over time.

The Outsiders gained particular popularity due to several factors, summed up as follows: (1) the artistic and creative quality of the story; (2) the demand it spurred from its target audience; (3) the number of awards it garnered over time; (4) the number of copies sold; and (5) the prominence of the author.

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preview essay on The Outsiders by Hinton - Determining the Extent of Its Popularity
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Masters
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