1. The film version of Rumble Fish attempts to convey the emotions and mood of the novel. View the film and discuss the ways in which director Francis Ford Coppola attempts to translate these qualities to the screen.
2. Research and report on the "New Realism" that some critics credit Hinton with introducing to young adult fiction. Compare her work, particularly Rumble Fish, to young adult fiction before and after.
3. Some critics view Rumble Fish as the successor to J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1951). Compare Rusty-James and Holden Caulfield. Pay special attention to their attitudes toward society and their acts of rebellion. Does Rusty-James continue a tradition or break from it?
4. Research incidences of teen-age violence, both in gangs and among individuals. Show how Rusty-James's attitudes and actions support or contradict the views held by psychologists and sociologists.
5. Compare Rumble Fish to a Greek tragedy such as Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Explain the similarities in theme, philosophy, and literary technique.
6. Compare Rumble Fish to another realistic young adult work such as Robert Cormier's Chocolate War (1974). Do the two writers share any common points of view?