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On the Outside

Living a life of the Outsiders

By Lizzy RosePublished 10 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - August 2023
On the Outside
Photo by Lorenzo Gerosa on Unsplash

No, I did not live a life filled with rumbles and small-town crime and golden sunsets. Nonetheless, S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" is one novel that always manages to draw me back, especially when I'm reminded of my "outsider" ways myself.

I was a kid born in New York, living in Tennessee, with parents that were fated to fall apart and hadn't quite reached that point but drew nearer and nearer each day. Already, off to a rough start, I know. I have known from a very young age that I was different, and while my inner child poet that tried her hardest to cope with a lot of things at far too young an age called it silly things like "being made of magic with a mind forged in stardust and a heart that took in the world and its tragedies like a sponge" (oh, the drama of it all!), it was probably just misdiagnosed mental health issues. She was right in one regard- her and I have always felt things to an extreme, always been painfully self-aware. We grew up far too fast, that's for sure.

Just as fast as a high school track runner with straight A's and an older brother that loved him as he drove him up the wall- Ponyboy Curtis. His story of his friends in 65's Tulsa- Darry, Sodapop, Two-Bit, Johnny, Dally, and Steve- first made its way into my life in Ms. Allison's 8th grade English class. Years later, watching the movie with the way they talked being so similar to the Tennessean southern drawl I'd been bullied for in a New York 3rd grade classroom, I realized the way I had always heard these characters in my head, being voiced by my classmates and teacher in the south, was the exact same way they were meant to speak. Already, these "Outsiders" were something I could get on board with, and so I immediately jumped back into Ponyboy's world.

Then came the Soc's- everything that I could not seem to unlock the secrets of being. They were cool, popular, went out and partied and had fun. Meanwhile, I was just another Darry Curtis (granted, my parents weren't dead, just distant). I had siblings to watch out for, I took in strays who weren't wanted in the popular kid's world and gave them a sanctuary in mine. They were the Two-Bits and Steves with a door they knew was always open and a shoulder always free to cry on. I was a Johnny Cade with a home that wasn't mine and a soul too kind for the world it inhabited, a Ponyboy with a lover of words and a penchant for having my head in the clouds.

I have never been asked "what's your favorite book" without at least considering this masterpiece as an almost immediate answer (almost in the way that it is actually impossible for me to have a favorite of anything). This book and these characters were there for me when the world was not. Ponyboy- constantly misunderstood by his parental figures and those around him, just wanted to be included. Sodapop- the bridge between two warring sides that he loves and just wants to see get along. Darry- the eldest who gave up so much for siblings that didn't always realize what exactly he did to keep them together and protect them. Johnny- a hard home life and a desire to just escape it all, with a "larger than life" mentality. Two-Bit- hides his problems with humor to keep everyone else going. Dallas- the one who acts tough and wild just to hide how much he's hurting. Steve- the one Ponyboy believes fights in the rumbles simply out of hatred, who doesn't pass his anger off quite as easily as some of the others.

In some way, this entire gang and I are one and the same.

When you've found yourself in a world where friends are rare and the world prefers to kick you while you're down, a gang of friends, even fictional, might just be the thing that keeps you going, that keeps you fighting, and that keeps you Gold.

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About the Creator

Lizzy Rose

I am a poet, fiction/fantasy writer, as well as a cosplayer and cover singer on Tiktok and Instagram. Currently working on my first novel!

https://linktr.ee/lizzyrose12

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Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (13)

  • S. C. Almanzar10 months ago

    I loved this book, and I remember finding out that it had been written by a teenage girl! That helped inspire me to continue writing, just knowing that girls too can write timeless classics. Stay golden, Ponyboy!

  • Mary E Bradbury10 months ago

    Very good choice. I loved the connections made.

  • Andrew C McDonald10 months ago

    Very well written. I have loved both the novel and the movie from it’s inception. A true masterpiece highlighting the angst and turmoil of the life of a poor group of Outsiders and their ongoing feud with the more well to do “in crowd.” Great job breaking down the characters.

  • Novel Allen10 months ago

    Very deep and heartfelt work. Congrats on Top Story.

  • Naveed Ahmed Syed10 months ago

    Embracing 'The Outsiders' feels like finding a home within its pages, where relatable characters mirror our own complexities and remind us that resilience and connection shine through adversity.

  • I've never read The Outsiders so thank you so much for showing what I've been missing this whole time! Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Aksaya Bandodker10 months ago

    Nice ARTICLE! Keep it up! You can check out my work too!

  • Ashley Lima10 months ago

    Fantastic review. I haven't read it since 7th grade, but you have me itching to pick it up. I used to have "Stay Gold, Ponyboy" in permanent marker on my wall. :) Congrats on TS!

  • Babs Iverson10 months ago

    Wonderful review that's wonderfully written!!! Loved it!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!

  • Naomi Gold10 months ago

    Lizzy, this was fantastic! The Outsiders was assigned reading for me in junior high English. I can’t remember what grade—maybe 8th. I do remember it spoke to me as an outsider myself; the quiet neurotypical girl, getting bullied, coping by writing fiction and poetry and journal entries about how I’d show them all someday as a bestselling author. I love how seamlessly you weaved personal narrative with literary critique. Way to show us how it’s done! You’ve made me want to reread this book too. Congrats on your Top Story. 🥂

  • Dana Crandell10 months ago

    Great review and very relatable. The Outsiders was required reading in my high school freshman English class and I was drawn right into it. I reread it as an adult and got sucked right back in. The movie didn't disappoint nearly as much as I expected it to. Well done, Lizzy!

  • Nice with a Good Message ❤️📝😉✨🎉Congratulations on Your Top Story🎉🎉🎉

  • Noah Reed10 months ago

    Love it

Lizzy RoseWritten by Lizzy Rose

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