Prose Analysis Essay Prompts For The Outsiders

1.  A hero, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities”, or “one who shows courage”.    Who would you consider to be the biggest hero in the novel The Outsiders?  Support your position with examples.

2.  Life is about change and learning.  Throughout the novel Ponyboy learns many things about his friends, family, and life in general.  Describe 3 lessons Ponyboy learned throughout the course of the novel and tell how they changed him.  Make sure to use examples from the book to show what lessons he learned.

3.  Ponyboy describes Dally and Darry in similar manner.  According Ponyboy they both have “eyes like ice”, “were unfeeling” and “did not love anyone”.  Do you think that his description is accurate? Support your opinion with examples. Compare Dallas Winston and Darry Curtis. 

4.  Theme is the underlying message of a story.  Identify three themes and explain how the author tried to make the readers understand the theme.  (What did the characters say, do, think, to help the readers understand the themes of the novel?)

5.  Authors often use symbols to represent something else that is more abstract.  Choose 3 symbols in the novel and explain what those symbols mean and support your explanation with evidence from the text.

6.  Every short story and novel must have conflict.  Identify 3 different types of conflict that Ponyboy faces throughout the novel and give examples of each.

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