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Why do symbols matter in a novel? Symbols are used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is actually being described. It creates a more in-depth meaning to the book and in turn making the novel all the more interesting. In The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton uses symbolism to represent ideas and lead to a deeper meaning of the novel. Some of these symbols represent personality, the beauty and good in the world as well as a common humanity in all of us and lastly, innocence.
Sunsets in this novel represent the beauty and good in the world as well as the common humanity in all of us. In particular, when Johnny and Pony are watching the sunset on the mountain and mention how there was a “silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. It was beautiful.”(66.2) This is mentioning the beauty of a sunset metaphorically and literally by explaining how both their breaths were taken away at the sight of it. One other important example is when Johnny was about to die and he mentions how the way Pony “digs sunsets” is a “ good way be” and to stay that way. With that, he is talking about how Pony sees sunsets and because of that sees the good in the world which is the way he should always stay. Now moving on to the topic of the common humanity in all of us. For example, when Pony was talking to Cherry and he said how “maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset”(35.2) This is portraying how in the end, we’re all generally the same. No matter how much money and life situations seem to differentiate people, we all contain humanity and in that way, we are alike. So because of that, the sunsets in The Outsiders represent the common humanity in all of us as well as the beauty and good in the world.
With all of the important characters in the Outsiders, S.E Hinton provides a description of each of their eyes. Which begs the question, “What do they mean?”. Each character is different and it is shown through eye color. Eye color is one of the most distinct features of a person, and the author’s specific use of them makes it the window to a person’s soul. Characters in the book whose eyes are described as green or greenish, seem to be the outsiders of the groups. Two examples are Ponyboy and Cherry. Cherry’s eyes are described as just “green”(111.2). Ponyboy describes his eye color as “greenish-gray,”(3.2) but he wishes they were more grey. I think that the grey in his eyes represents the part of Ponyboy that is tough. Like a stereotypical greaser that gets into fights and steals. The green in his eyes represents the side of him that likes going to movies, drawing pictures, and reading. Cherry’s green eyes represent that she is an outsider like Ponyboy. She and Ponyboy are the only characters in the book that have green eyes, watch sunsets, and don’t fit in...