In the story The Outsiders, when they arrive at the abandoned church on Jay Mountain, how does Ponyboy describe it?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy tries to stay neutral in his description of the church.  That fits with the overall style of the novel.  It reads like an investigative report focused on the plight of the Greasers.  I believe that was intentional by Hinton.  Hinton doesn't stay completely neutral though.  She is able to give the reader reasons to care about the Greasers and feel their pain.  That style comes out through Ponyboy.  As I said, Ponyboy tries to stay neutral in his description of the church.  He talks about how the church is off by itself.  He tells the reader that it was small, and he tells the reader that it was covered in spiderwebs.  It sounds like the perfect place to hideout.  However, Ponyboy can't help but narrate the feelings he gets from the church.  

"It was a small church, real old and spooky and spiderwebby. It gave me the creeps. . . But this church gave me a kind of creepy feeling. What do you call it? Premonition?"

The most glaring piece of Ponyboy's description of the church is in his repetition of the word "creepy."  He could have described the small, abandoned church as "peaceful."  That would have given the two paragraphs a completely different feeling.  Instead, he describes it as "creepy."  The addition of the word "premonition" doesn't help the reader get good feelings either.  I've never heard or seen that word used in a way that foreshadows good things.  Ponyboy's description lets the reader know that something bad is coming.  

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The Outsiders

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