Theme Of Innocence In The Outsiders

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12 Extended Essay The Complexity of Innocence in S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders Word count: 3,661 S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders uses allusion to its advantage, specifically through the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay, written by Robert Frost. The novel highlights Ponyboy Curtis and the other greasers he associates himself with; among these are Dallas “Dally” Winston and Johnny Cade. The allusion to Robert Frost’s poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay, shows the complexity of the retention and loss of innocence in specific characters in The Outsiders by relating lines of the poem with three of the main boys highlighted in the novel: “Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold,” is most directly portrayed in Ponyboy. “Her early leaf’s a flower, but only so an hour,” is symbolic of Johnny’s personality. “Then leaf subsides to leaf, so Eden sank to grief,” displays Dally’s shift of character towards the end of the novel. “So dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay,” is a comparison of the amount of innocence the three greasers possess within themselves. In the context of the poem, gold is not a precious metal, but rather the precious moments that we experience during our lifetimes. Fleeting sunsets, and the innocence of youth will not last very long, but that gives us more reason to cherish them while they do. Though all good things must come to an end, as Frost writes, a sincere appreciation for the impermanence of what is “gold” ultimately develops

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