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Compare And Contrast Johnny Cade And Dallas Winston In The Outsides By S.E. Hinton

1373 words - 6 pages

How can two people that have so many similarities be so different in their daily lives? Johnny Cade and Dallas (Dally) Winston are a perfect example that this is possible in writing. These two characters star in The Outsiders, a compelling story by S. E. Hinton. Johnny and Dally are perfect foils of each other, by being so different, yet they are almost completely alike.
Dally and Johnny are similar in two key ways. For instance, neither Dally nor Johnny value their own lives at one point or another during the story. Dallas always goes out and does whatever he wants. Even if there is a chance of the Socs ganging up on him, or cops arresting him, he does not care what consequence acting out brings. After Johnny dies, Dallas cannot think of any way to survive without him, and therefore reasons that he does not want to live under these circumstances. Obviously, he “wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted” (154). In fact, leading up to Johnny’s death Dallas does not seem to care either way about how his actions would affect the world. Even at the age of ten, Dallas does not give thought to being arrested. Likewise, Johnny states that he does not care for his life before, and after killing the Soc and creating trouble. He said to Ponyboy in the parking lot that he might just kill himself. This is caused due to the stress by his parents arguing all the time. Killing himself, is the only path out of his stressful life that he could see. Furthermore, while in the hospital Johnny states to Ponyboy that the lives of those children were “worth more than [his]” (178). He has more than enough time to think about his current situation and decides that his life is less important to, say, Darry’s. Both Dally and Johnny think that there is only one way out of their troubles, and that it will have no impact on the lives of so many others. Another similarity between Dallas and Johnny is that the situation at home is bad on both ends. Johnny is always complaining about how his parents argue at home. Although this is not new news to the rest of the Greasers, they always listen to what he has to say. The entire gang always sympathises with his situation, because they can hear his parents screaming at him from down the street. His mother and father argue so much, that it causes him to even have somewhat suicidal thoughts. Ponyboy explains to Cherry Valance that “his father was always beating him up, and his mother ignored him, except when she was hacked off at something, and then you could hear her yelling at him clear down at [his] house” (12). Therefore, there is no way that Johnny could even ignore the behavior of his parents when he is home. In similar fashion, Dally’s father never cares about where he is or what he is doing. At age ten, the police of New York arrest him. This just sets the tone for the rest of his life, him now knowing that he could get away with anything that a cop cannot notice. When Johnny is worrying about how his parents would...

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