“The Outsiders” Background Worksheet
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A look at Oklahoma
Oklahoma is the state in which all of S.E. Hinton‟s novels are set; coincidentally this is also where
Hilton grew up. Please gather five interesting facts about this state using the following websites:
Growing up in the „50‟s
Even though the book was published in the mid-sixties, the main characters of the novel would have
grown up mostly during the fifties and early sixties. Check out the sites to get a feel for what life was
like back then. Be sure to answer the questions that follow.
1. What were some of the popular things in the fifties?
People / Icons / Movie Stars
What were some major movies produced during this time?
How did people dress during the fifties?
Who were the presidents during this time?
Was there any significant world events happening?
2. What do you think some of the major differences are between growing up in the fifties and
growing up in the 21st century?
Elvis Presley was a person the “Greasers” idolized. In fact, one would say that they based their style on
this very famous man. Read over the information about “The King” and answer the questions that
1. What kind of music is Elvis known for?
2. How would you describe Elvis‟ fashion?
3. Why might a group like the Greasers be attracted to Elvis as an idol?
The Beatles were the Socs‟ idols. Spend some time looking at the following site and answer the
1. What kind of music are The Beatles known for?
2. What do you think attracted the Socs to the Beatles?
3. What do you think the differing musical tastes of the Greasers and the Socs‟ says about their