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The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Background Information. First Impressions. We often judge people based on our first impressions of their physical appearance. Verbalize your first impressions of the people in the images below. Compare these two images when you make your impressions. The Author.

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the outsiders by s e hinton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Background Information


First Impressions

We often judge people based on our first impressions of their physical appearance. Verbalize your first impressions of the people in the images below.

Compare these two images when you make your impressions.

the author
The Author

Susan Eloise Hinton


S.E. Hinton

Hinton was born in Tulsa in 1948.

As a young child, she was an avid reader and would spend her time writing her own stories.

She wanted to

create stories

about the truth

of teenagers (no

sugar coating).


S.E. Hinton

Hinton wrote The Outsiders while she was in high school. During her high school graduation ceremony, she was offered a publication contract for the novel. She published the novel under the name S.E. Hinton (instead of Susan Eloise) because the publishers didn’t think boys would want to read a ‘tough’ novel by a female.





S.E. Hinton

After the success of The Outsiders, she attended the University Of Tulsa where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education.

In college, she met David Inhofe (her future husband). He was a major influence in her writing her second novel, That Was Then, This Is Now.


S.E. Hinton

Susan married David and they had one son, Nicholas David.

She wrote a few more books (Tex, Rumble Fish, Taming The Star Runner). In the 1990’s, she focused mainly on children’s picture books.

the story
The Story

They walked out slowly, silently, smiling.

"Need a haircut, greaser?" The medium-sized blond pulled a knife out of his back pocket and flipped the blade open.

I finally thought of something to say. "No.“ I was backing up, away from that knife. Of course I backed right into one of them. They had me down in a second. I fought to get loose, and almost did for a second; then they tightened up on me and slugged me a couple of times. So I lay still, swearing at them between gasps. A blade was held against my throat.

"How'd you like that haircut to begin just below the chin?"


The Characters

-- According to the main character, Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs.

-- A soc (short for "social") has money, is very popular, and has things handed to them.

-- A greaser, on the other hand, works hard, is an outsider and needs to fight for a living.

-- The greasers and socs stick to their own groups. They get into fights when one group crosses into the other group’s turf.

the setting tulsa oklahoma
The Setting -- Tulsa, Oklahoma

Population of New York City:

19 million

Population of Los Angeles:

15 million

Population of Tulsa:



The Outsiders

The Outsiders was inspired by real-life events at Hinton’s high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This novel is widely considered the first realistic young-adult novel.

Hinton’s High School

(Will Rogers High)


Historical Context

The book reflects the social division Americans experienced during the 1960s. Young people were attempting to find their voices and express their political opinions. Race relations were changing dramatically as the Civil Rights Movement drew attention to discrimination against African Americans. Though Hinton does not refer directly to any historical or political events in her work, the novel seeks to elevate public awareness of marginalized groups and to validate the voices and experiences of young people.


1960’s Terminology

Below are some words you may encounter in the novel The Outsiders that were popular in the 1960’s

Heater = Gun

Fuzz = Police

Broad = Woman

Hacked Off = Angry


1960’s Terminology

Below are some words you may encounter in the novel The Outsiders that we rarely use today:

JD = Juvenile Delinquent

The Cooler = Jail

Rumble = Fight

Pickled = Drunk

the setting the sixties politics martin luther king jr jfk vietnam war
The Setting -- The Sixties’ Politics:Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, Vietnam War

Tension existed between races and between social classes.

the sixties music and television
The Sixties Music and Television

The Beatles


Rock music grew in popularity -- Elvis was more popular among the greasers and The Beatles were more popular among the soc’s.

the setting the sixties clothes and hair styles
The Setting – The Sixties Clothes and Hair Styles

Jackie Kennedy, Paul Newman and James Dean portray styles popular with soc’s and greasers.

the setting the sixties cars
The Setting -- The Sixties Cars

Muscle Cars: Corvair, Corvette, Mustang

Popular among soc’s and greasers



Fanpop. Fanpop, Inc., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <>.

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York: Penguin Group Inc., 1995.

Hoffman, Carl. The 60's Official Site. N.p., 26 Oct. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <>.

"S. E. Hinton - About S. E. Hinton." Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2000. Web. 31 Oct. 1964. <,,1000015109,00.html>.

"S. E. Hinton" Tumblr. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <>.

"Tulsa Maps and Orientation: Tulsa, Oklahoma - OK, USA." Tulsa Maps and Orientation: Tulsa, Oklahoma - OK, USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <>.