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On the Intertextuality of the Outsiders

Author QingYanQiong
Tutor ZhangYing
School Northeast Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Hinton The Outsiders Intertextuality Citation Allusion Reference
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Intertextuality is a term often used in critical studies. Since Julia Kristeva first coined the term in the 1960s, intertextuality has been a dominant idea within literary and cultural studies, taken up by practically every theoretical movement. Intertextuality usually refers to a relationship of co-presence between two texts or among several texts,that is the presence of one text in another.The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton’s first and most famous novel, marked the beginning of new realism in the field of young adult literature. In this novel, the employment of intertextuality is everywhere to be seen. For example, its citation of Robert Frost’s poem“Nothing Gold Can Stay”, its allusion to the world’s savior Jesus Christ and J. D. Salinger’s controversial novel The Catcher in the Rye, and its reference to Margaret Mitchell’s romantic novel Gone with the Wind and Charles Dickens’bildungsroman Great Expectations.This thesis will analyze the employment of intertextuality in The Outsiders through the devices of citation, allusion and reference, and the irreplaceable importance of this abundant employment of intertextuality in The Outsiders to the construction of the novel. It not only helps to deepen the themes Hinton explores in the novel, but also helps with the characterization of the characters. Besides, the employment of intertextuality is also of great importance in enriching the text of The Outsiders, both with literary texts and cultural texts. The functions of intertextual reading of this novel will also be closely studied, which include enabling the readers to get the deep meaning of the text hidden in its relation to other texts and to have different interpretations of the text based on their different understandings of other texts.

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