Point of View in The Outsiders

Point of view in the outsiders

In many stories authors use perspective or point of view to demonstrate more detailed explanations of scenarios. In the story the outsiders they use this method on the main character, Ponyboy Curtis. Ponyboy Curtis is a 14 year old who is the youngest member in the gang, the greasers. They used this character to help readers relate to the book. There are three examples in this story that really show that.  

Ponyboy Curtis is a 14 year old boy that is in a gang called the greasers. He lives with his two brothers that look over him, they are also in the gang. He goes to school and lives a normal life for the most part, other than being in a gang. Thats a huge reason that this book is so easy to relate too. Hes is just a teenage that faces the same problems as regular teenagers, hes just trying to fit in. That is why the point of view helps in this story so much, it shows us the regular teenage things, things that you wouldn't see if the story was told in the point of view any other person.

The first quote comes from when Ponyboy and Johnny were hiding in the abandoned church. They were reading the book Gone with the wind when johnny said that dally reminds him of one of the southern men from the Civil War. Then Ponyboy thinks to himself that Dally was so real it scared him. This quote shows Ponyboys innocence through the point of view of Ponyboy, because we hear this in his mind while reading the story. The reason this shows Ponyboys innocence is because he is showing fear, fear of his fellow gang member. Early in the story he says that he feels comfortable with Two-bit, Soda, and Darry, but with Dally he did not, because dally lost his innocence. His innocence made him become scared of this guy who just saw the world as it was and did not fear anything, and without that point of view, the readers wouldn't have been able to portray the idea that Ponyboy feared dally.

The second quote would come in at the end of the story, when after dally called on the phone explaining everything he did, Ponyboy says “I knew he would be dead, because Dally Winston wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted.”  This quote is just supporting the idea of point of view showing the deep opinions of the character that is talking. In this case that is ponyboy, and it is showing exactly what he thinks of the situation. He knew that if Dallas did not want to live anymore, then he would get what he wants. It also just shows us more of the opinions of the main character. It also relates back to the first quote, it is just showing us more and more how Ponyboy feels about Dally, through his point of view. The reader would have not learned all about this relationship without getting into the thoughts of Ponyboy while looking at the situations through his eyes.

The third quote from the story comes when Ponyboy is talking to Cherry about the sunset. “ It’s okay… We aren’t in the same class. Just don’t forget that some of us watch the sunset too.” This shows both Ponyboys innocence and how point of view helps us see it. This quote shows his innocence because being in a gang, you are supposed to be feared and tough, and this quote uses words that are not  so tough, but beyond that, shows the innocence that Ponyboy still has, It shows that he is not just one of the gang members and he still has a good heart, which brings it to the point of view. This is another example of things that we would not see if this story was not told in the point of view of pony boy. This whole part, when he is with Cherry, probably would not even have been heard of because to the other guys it would not be tough, and he would not have told them about it.  

 “I was actually fifteen when I first began it. It was the year I was sixteen and a junior in highschool that I did the majority of the work.” This is a quote from an interview with the author of the book, S.E. Hinton. The question that was asked was “You were a sixteen year-old high school student in Oklahoma when you wrote The Outsiders. Where did you get the idea for the story?” I took the quote because it relates back to the point of view of the story. It is most likely the reason the book is written in the point of view that it is, and is the reason the book is so easy to understand. The author was around the same age as what the main characters age was made out to be, making it easy for them to connect, making the point of view logical.

In conclusion, point of view is a big help in understanding the story and getting a deeper meaning of scenarios by exploring the main characters thoughts as well as words. In the story this was used in the point of view of Ponyboy to help understand the story. His Point of view was used to show his innocence and help us understand the story as proven by the quotes.

"Exclusive Interview with S.E. Hinton." The Outsiders Fan Club. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://theoutsidersfanclub.weebly.com/exclusive-interview-with-se-hinton.html>.

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York: Puffin, 1997. Print  

Comments (6)

Jason Greene (Student 2017)
Jason Greene

Very good essay. One thing I learned was how important POV was in this story. A technique I would like to steal is how easy you made it to follow along and read.

Arsenio Gomez (Student 2017)
Arsenio Gomez
  1. I did not know that the author started writing the book when he was still in high-school.

  2. I really like how you gave a lot of background info before heading into the quote making the essay easier to follow. Then just saying the quote.

Arianna Haven (Student 2017)
Arianna Haven

Very insightful essay! I never realized how important the POV was in the Outsiders. So, that is something I learned. I really enjoyed your quotes from the book. A technique that I would take away is how you really thoroughly analyzed your quotes and example.

Aaron Watson-Sharer (Student 2017)
Aaron Watson-Sharer
  1. I never knew the book was started at such a young age. Hinton has great writing skills to be able to pull that off.

  2. He started a bit with the quote leading the thesis rather than the thesis leading the quote.

Chiara Nemati (Student 2017)
Chiara Nemati

Something I learned from the essay that I did not already know was the way the POV used in The Outsiders gave such a deep meaning and allowed the reader to see such struggles. A technique that I would use is the thoughts that Ponyboy has to himself. The way these thoughts are written allow the reader to understand and know the character better. Good Job!