What does it mean to complete a character study in The Outsiders?

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

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A character study is an assignment in which you construct a detailed analysis of one of the characters from the novel, in this case The Outsiders.  In the novel, Hinton creates a variety of strong and dynamic characters to analyze who experience multiple conflicts throughout the plot. 

I highly recommend completing your character study over one of these characters, since they are the most dynamic: Ponyboy, Johnny, Dally, or Darry.  All of these boys undergo major shifts in beliefs or values from the beginning of the story to its conclusion, which makes them dynamic characters, rather than static ones, who just stay the same. 

Major Points to consider in your character study:

  1. Physical Description
  2. Character's Beliefs at the beginning of the novel
  3. The character's role in the building conflict
  4. How the character impacts other characters
  5. Character's beliefs at end of the novel
  6. Analysis of how and why you believe the character changed their perspective

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