The Outsiders

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Compare and Contrast: The Outsiders and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Adolescence is a time of excitement. It’s a time when our freedoms and responsibilities sprout to life. It was once innocent, but now it is facing the real world: a world filled with crime, dangers, and ideas many of us can’t see as children. Everything previously mentioned is coming of age. Coming of age books are often thought of as something to dive into it -- something to enjoy, something to just read. One might think of these books as a great source of entertainment; however, these books have really deep meanings and themes behind them. There are a multitudinous amount of themes that are mentioned in S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and Sherman Alexie’s …show more content…

In The Outsiders, we see Ponyboy come of age because we see him struggling with creating his identity. “Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while. I don’t mean I do things like that” (Hinton 3). It is almost ironic that the book is called The Outsiders because Ponyboy is an outsider to the outsiders -- which, in this book are referred to as greasers. This is because he thinks and acts differently compared to the other greasers; this then forces Pony to mature because he has to create his own identity. Furthermore, almost indistinguishably, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian shows the main character, Arnold, struggle with creating his own identity as he doesn’t fit in. Arnold, also known as Junior, is shown as to be a disabled boy that already has no friends except for Rowdy; this already shows him not fitting in, and as if it wasn’t detrimental enough, he leaves his old school -- the reservation -- to go to Reardan High School. This breaks up his identity and he has to live amongst the rich white kids, who try to harass him; this shows struggle because he is in this midway gray area with no friends, no identity and no one but his parents to care about him. This forces Arnold to not only create a new identity, but also to come of age because of all the pressure. Thus, judging all the pieces …show more content…

Ponyboy showed that he can overcome loss of hope when he saved the children from the burning church. Initially, before the church burned, it was an empty church where Pony and Johnny hid from the law; moreover, the empty church shows that not only are the greasers facing loss of hope, but the whole world is too. The burning church full of children forces Pony to mature because he couldn’t just leave it and pretend it never happened; Pony and Johnny had to become the hope. When facing a deadly situation, they had the choice to either take the initiative and help the children, or to leave them; them choosing and making that huge decision caused them to come of age. Similarly,, we see Arnold face and solve a plethora of problems where he has to overcome loss of hope. We have seen him prevail loss of hope when he first joined Reardan High School, he lost his identity and was stuck in this gray spot; the students back in the reservation hated him for leaving and being a ‘white lover’ -- Reardan High School was predominantly for rich, white children -- and the Reardan students had just met him. Since he was Indian, people were uncomfortable around him. In this situation, Junior is confused and is facing a huge dilemma that makes him lose hope. This situation is later resolved when Penelope, a girl that is

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