What is the climax of the book the Outsiders (by Hinton)

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The climax is the moment in the plot in which the protagonist has the opportunity to resolve the conflict.  There are multiple major external conflicts in this novel, like the final confrontation with the Socs or Dally's police chase. The major iturning point in The Outsiders occurs in Chapter Nine, with Johnny's death; this moment has the most impact because it signals a change in the protagonist's outlook and development.

In the hospital, Johnny tells Pony, "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold." Pony is confused by this, and Johnny dies before Pony can ask him to explain it. Johnny's death is one of the most tense moments of the book and signals the beginning of Pony's new perspective.  He begins to transform as a character after Johnny's death, going through a period of denial, anger, and then ultimately understanding and wisdom.

Later, Pony finds a letter from Johnny which refers to the Frost poem that Pony shared with Johnny at the church.  In the poem, "nothing gold can stay," but Johnny urges Pony to hold on to his goodness, knowing that Pony has what it takes to overcome his difficult youth.  Johnny's letter to Pony has a huge impact on the younger boy, reassuring him to look for the positive things in life, like sunsets.



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