Reading from a different angle

I’m a bit behind here, but have lots to share when I find the time. Meanwhile, here’s a little something from my other blog.

Readers Are Leaders 2014

Courtesy SparklingAdventures.com Courtesy SparklingAdventures.com

Our class recently discussed S E Hinton’s The Outsiders (1967), considering it in the light of Erik Erikson’s views (1963) on American identity, which he believes developed under the pressures of various “polarities”: individualism vs. loyalty to the community, hard vs. soft (“better a sinner than a sucker”), etc. If you’ve read Hinton’s breakout novel, published when she was just 17 years old, you know Ponyboy’s struggles as he negotiates the embattled line between the Greasers and the Socs.

It’s a popular book, riffing off of West Side Story, The Wild Ones, Rebel Without a Cause and other outsider/insider texts. Hinton’s novel highlights the lower-class and middle-class divide: what kind of cars the members of the two gangs own, where they live, where they hang out, what they wear. To modern readers, the divide is visible, felt, continually contested. There is no DMZ, only “our turf” and “their…

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About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
This entry was posted in Diversity, YA Lit and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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