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The Outsiders

Grades 6-8 | Analysis | Source-Based

Source Lexile®: NP

Learning Standards




Prompt: In the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Ponyboy recites a poem by Robert Frost to Johnny, afterwards stating, “He meant more to it than I’m gettin’ though. I always remembered it because I never quite got what he meant by it.”


After reading both The Outsiders and Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” write an essay that explains why the poem might be referenced in the novel, as well as why Johnny ends up telling Ponyboy to “stay gold.” Think about the overall meaning of the poem (examine the sound, rhythm, language, tone, and/or imagery) and how it connects to Ponyboy’s story in The Outsiders. Be sure to include textual evidence from both the poem and the novel to support your analysis.




Source 1

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost


Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.








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