The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton provides a look into what teenage life looked like in the 60’s in America. A book targeted towards teens, The Outsiders tries to capture a more accurate perspective on these children. Almost sixty years have passed since its release, however, meaning that most of the book is not applicable to today’s society. As attitudes and culture throughout the years change, it is foolish to use this book as a guide for what teenagers in today’s society will do when placed in hard situations.
Even back when it was first released, it is hard to believe that some would consider this book realistic. The entire plot of the book is extremely fantastical, and although some of the class disputes and conversations are realistic, the plot makes it hard to focus on these strong suits of the book.
At its best, The Outsiders is an attempt to realistically capture the attitudes and mindsets of teenagers in the 1950’s-60’s. At its worst, it is an attempt to paint a good side in the class war and to garner the reader’s sympathy through ridiculous scenarios. Overall, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.