Dialogue can be very important to the growth of the story. Good writing can express what the characters are feeling without having to directly explain what is going on. I feel that S.E. Hinton’s writing does exactly that.
“We’re goin to turn ourselves in.” Johnny said this as he had decided he didn’t want to be on the run any more, after he had killed Bob, and ran away with Ponyboy. Dally found them, starving in the church and took them out to lunch where they all were caught up on what has happened, when suddenly, Johnny announced he wanted to go to the police on page 87. This shows how Johnny knows what is best in a situation and will do the right thing in the end, even if it means he might go to prison. Johnny always seemed to know what he was doing, however much it scares him. They had planned out how they were going to go to the police, and what to say, and what to leave out. Everyone had to agree on how much they would tell the police to make sure that only the people involved would get any consequences. I think this proves how Johnny always puts others before himself.
“I used to talk about killing myself…” “ I don’t want to die now.” These are some of Johnny’s last few words when he was in the hospital on page 121. This shows how bad Johnny felt when he was back home where his parents mistreated him. Johnny never wanted to have to deal with them again, so he was going to take the easy way out. However, the gang was the reason Johnny didn’t kill himself; they made him feel cared for. When Johnny was in the hospital, he knew how bad his condition was because he had a broken back and couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. But once he realized there was a large chance he was going to die, he saw how much he really didn’t want to die at such a young age. It was near the end of his life that he really understood how precious his life was, but what is devastating is how late he actually realized this fact. I think this quote explains how Johnny cherished his life.
“Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…” These were Johnny’s last words when he passed away in the hospital on page 148. This is meaningful to the character because Johnny and Ponyboy were talking about the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost on page 78. Ponyboy was explaining the poem to Johnny and said that it means more than what is said. Johnny was telling Ponyboy how he never noticed the “colors and clouds” until Ponyboy pointed them out. This shows how during their few days at the church, Johnny and Ponyboy’s friendship bonded more solidly than ever. When Johnny said his last words to Ponyboy, it referred to multiple things from the story, and that is what makes it so powerful. It refers to the poem, but also made him think of how Ponyboy inspired Johnny to have a more open mind in life.
With S.E. Hinton’s character driven writing, most main characters had a long, obvious physical and emotional description. Johnny was one of the characters that...