1965. One Unnamed City, In an Unnamed State…

We know The Outsiders is collection in 1965 due to the fact that S.E. Hinton states so in the FAQ web page of her website (Source), however not since there"s any indication in the novel (though the slang is insanely outdated).

The setting is based on Hinton"s hometown that Tulsa, Oklahoma, wherein she was living when she created the story as a high college student (Source). Again, this is revealed in her FAQ page, not in the text.

So why is Ponyboy for this reason vague around time and place? Maybe due to the fact that he"s trying come both represent and also reach out to the "hundreds and also hundreds of boys living ~ above the wrong sides of cities, boys <…> that jump <…> at your shadows" (12.65). The vague setup helps do the publication relevant for human being in various other places and also times. It isn"t just around Tulsa; it might be around your hometown, too.

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The bulk of the novel"s activity takes location over a main one fall. Due to the fact that Pony is a little vague about days of the week, we"ll offer you a quick rundown:

Friday: The action begins on a Friday afternoon as soon as Ponyboy gets struck by the Socs together he"s walking house from the movies.Saturday: at night Pony goes to the movies, and there"s more violence, finishing in Bob"s death.Sunday: Pony and also Johnny room hiding at the church on top of Jay Mountain, where they remain for five more days.Friday: The fire. Saturday: The rumble, in addition to the deaths the Johnny and Dallas.The rest of the novel takes location from the complying with Tuesday until Ponyboy starts writing, some time throughout that semester.

Setting in The Outsiders have the right to be fun, dangerous, disturbing, scary, and even heart-wrenching. Over there are lots of intriguing aspects. We"ll struggle a couple of of lock here, and also leave the remainder for you and your outstanding papers.

East Side, West Side

Ponyboy gift his city (and various other cities) as split into two zones, the eastern Side and also the West Side. These two zones are divided by economics. In this case, east Siders don"t have sufficient money; West Siders have actually plenty.

Many cities are split along financial lines, and often, broadly speaking, into an east side and also a west side, choose here. But, together we likewise know, it"s never ever that simple. In The Outsiders, eastern Side and West Side role almost choose symbols—symbols to stand for the financial divide together Ponyboy sees it, no the complex nature of a actual city.

Country and also City

When Ponyboy and Johnny operation off come hide in Windrixville, the story take away a rotate for the pastoral. "Pastoral" basically method "of the pasture." Pastorals often function a contrast between the country and the city. Because that example, in william Shakespeare"s As You prefer It, city characters flee to the forest, where they get new insights ~ above life that they have the right to take back to the city.

Sounds sort of choose what wake up to Pony, Johnny, and even Dallas, doesn"t it? Pony and Johnny flee come the country and also return to the city as changed young men. All three find the hero inside, however even prior to the fire, Johnny in specific is altered. He"s still desperate, yet he"s make the decision to face up come the killing of Bob once he return home. He"s additionally discovered the beauty and also comfort in nature, and also even in poems and books, as a result of hanging out through Ponyboy.

The "country" in The Outsiders likewise operates symbolically. It might represent that ar in Johnny and Pony"s imagination where departments like Social and also Greaser don"t exist. When Pony and also Johnny room talking about the country before they loss asleep in the vacant lot, Johnny says, "It seems like there"s gotta be someplace there is no greasers or Socs, with just people. Plain, simple people" (3.83). And then Pony says,

"Out of the large towns <…>. In the country…" (3.84)

Sure enough, in the country nobody appears to recognize they are Greasers or think these boys are different. In the ambulance, when Ponyboy speak Jerry he"s a Greaser, Jerry has actually no idea what he"s talking about. That accepts Pony, Johnny, and Dallas at face value, based upon their heroism. The doesn"t think they look like hoods.

The Church

The church is smack dab in the center of that pastoral setting, located at the optimal of a hill. Pony and also Johnny deserve to feast their eyes top top the countryside extending out in ~ them. Yet, they"re still isolated and outside the society, similar to this church. It presents a gloomy contrast to the brightness that nature approximately them. Pony tells us,

It to be a little church, actual old and spooky and spiderwebby. It gave me the creeps. (4.92)

Interestingly, Pony pretty lot abandoned going come church because his parents died, mostly because his gang won"t act there.

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Like other elements in the setting, we watch some symbolic action here. Pony and also Johnny are, in a sense, worshiping in this church—they"re worshiping nature and also friendship. They"re additionally taking refuge and engaging in meditation. The church becomes a site of redemption for them when they rescue the schoolchildren indigenous it and discover that they"re courageous... And also bold in a means that renders a large difference in the lives of numerous people.