Stereotypes - the Outsiders

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Kathy Kippenberger
Ms. Kossenko
English 7
21 April 2011

The Ugly Truth About Labels
How Rivalry is Used in the Novel The Outsiders
Ever felt targeted? Witness someone be judged by how they spoke? Felt as if no one belongs? Is it because they dress, act, or learn differently or a certain way? Most young adults go through these types of struggles. Stereotypes are preconceived labels subjected on the public. When teenagers do things out of the ordinary, dress differently, or hang out with specific people they tend to be measured up into or against these stereotypes. A common occurrence in high school, these stereotypes that try to define teenagers, can affect them either positively or work against us in negatively. When people are labeled it is usually through a stereotype, they are judged on their appearance, attitude, personality, and friends along with many other superficial components. “Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” (Manson) Characterization is a tool used to depict someone through the traits of their personality and association with those around them. Of course, with the clash of characters and imposed stereotypes, conflict between people is almost certain. Rivalry, a byproduct of conflict and the law of survival is always at play within society. S.E. Hinton uses these literary techniques of stereotypes, characterization and conflict throughout the novel of The Outsiders to depict they key theme of rivalry. In The Outsiders, every character has been classified as “a greaser”, being stereotyped like that is pretty cruel. When Ponyboy said, “We both need a haircut and some decent clothes. They’ll know we’re hoods the minute they see us!” (Hinton, 64) He admitted to succumbing to his stereotype. Proving to the readers that the Greasers were based on their appearance. When people...
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