S. E. Hinton
Dell Publishing
Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc.
1540 Broadway
New York, New York 10036
Dear S. E. Hinton,
I would first like to congratulate you on a very well written book titled The Outsiders. I have a few ideas as to why you wrote this book and what you were trying show through this book. I would also like to add in what I got out of reading this book. It would be great if you could take some time after reading this letter to tell you if my ideas are correct.
I feel that you wrote this book to convey what life is like in lower class families. There are not enough books, movies, etc. on the subject. You probably feel the same way. You most likely lived in a lower class family or had close friends or relatives that did. This is why you can give such a real life, accurate, and detailed account of what happened.
It is my opinion that you were trying to show how difficult life really is in these families. For example, they often do not have the means to go to college. The children often take on jobs to help their parents pay family expenses. They may also not have all of the opportunities that the upper class has to participate in school activities. For instance, they may not be able to pay the fee to play sports or do clubs. Therefore, they hang around with friends after school and get into mischief.
You also accurately showed many of their views on things such as the upper class, family, friends, the opposite sex, and death. They feel that the upper class has everything they need to succeed and they are the one with all the problems in the world. Your character Ponyboy discovers that this is not true. Their problems are just different. You also deal with the death of family and friends. You discuss how Ponyboy, Sodapop, and Darry get along after the death of their parents. Also, how Johnny's death affected the gang and especially Ponyboy was very moving.
This book has given me insight into an area of our culture that I do not see very often. The views stated in your book will undoubtedly affect my previous opinions on these matters. I hope that your book affects many people's view on lower class life in a positive way. Furthermore, I would again like to congratulate you on a well-written book.