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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The Outsiders: “A Timeless Coming-of-Age Masterpiece”

A journey to the depths of adolescence
The Outsiders: A Timeless Coming-of-Age Masterpiece


The Outsiders, written by the talented author S.E. Hinton, is an award-winning coming-of-age novel. In a setting divided by social class and hierarchies, we are introduced to the lives of two rival teenage gangs, the Greasers and the Socs. Set in 1960s Tulsa, Oklahoma, Hinton’s novel delves into themes of class division, friendship, loyalty, and the harsh realities faced by young outsiders. With its publication in 1967, Hinton’s work brought forth the young adult genre and continues to captivate readers to this day.


Hinton started writing “The Outsiders” when she was only around 15 years old and published it in 1967. The book began with the idea of two rival groups at her school, Will Rogers High School. Hinton started writing when a friend of hers got beaten up on his way home from school.  Additionally, she also wrote the book because of the lack of relatable books for teenagers.

This novel is set in the 1960s in Oklahoma. The period of the story is the same as the actual time it was written.


Hinton’s storytelling captivates readers from the first page, where the narrative voice of Ponyboy Curtis, our protagonist, draws us into his troubled world. Through Ponyboy’s eyes, we enter the struggles of the Greasers, a group of young boys living on the wrong side of the tracks. As the story unfolds, we witness the tension and violence that arise between the Greasers and the Socs, the wealthy and privileged group from the other side of town. Through Ponyboy’s introspective voice, Hinton delves into the struggles of identity, family, friendship, and the desire for acceptance. This makes the Outsiders as relevant today as it was over five decades ago.

Movie-Book Comparison

One aspect that deserves comparison is the book’s adaptation into a movie. While Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film adaptation of “The Outsiders” captures the essence of the novel, there are differences between the two. Firstly, the movie’s pacing, which compresses the story, sacrificing some of the novel’s depth and character development. The film adaptation skims over important nuances found in the book, thereby missing some of the rich emotional impact that the written story delivers.

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Book or Movie

While the movie adaptation and the original book have their merits, I would highly recommend people read the book first. Hinton’s evocative writing style allows readers to connect with the characters on a deeper level. The book captures the emotions and struggles of the characters in a way that the movie is not able to. The book provides a more complete understanding of each character’s development and highlights the novel’s profound messages. However, watching the movie can also be an enjoyable experience, offering a visual representation of the story’s settings and characters. Ultimately, both unique perspectives and for a more immersive experience, starting with the book is highly recommended.


In conclusion, The Outsiders is an emotional rollercoaster that leaves readers simultaneously heartbroken and inspired. S.E. Hinton’s masterful storytelling and relatable characters make this book a must-read for anyone seeking a thought-provoking emotional experience. Ponyboy’s coming-of-age journey is engrossing, as he navigates the complex dynamics of loyalty, prejudice, and sacrifice. The Outsiders reminds us of the power of empathy and understanding, making it a timeless tale of the human experience.

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About the Contributor
Joe Okoroagu
Joe Okoroagu, Reporter
Joe Okoroagu is a Junior at Colonia High School. He is an aspiring author and writer with a passion for the written word and a devotion to creativity. He is an idiosyncratic, yet vibrant soul who finds joy in delving into books. When Joe isn't occupied with school, you will find him spending his free time outdoors, working on creative writing pieces, penning characters, and gathering ideas. Though he occasionally overthinks or overanalyzes, he believes that there's always more to it. With this being his first year with The Declaration he aspires to become a better writer and journalist and is always looking for ways to achieve his goals. With his dedication and passion for writing, Okoroagu is confident that he can make a positive impact at CHS.

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