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Similarities And Differences Between Dally And Johnny

1413 words - 6 pages

How can a rough, mean and tough hood have anything in common with a sweet and thoughtful boy? In S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Dally Winston, a tough greaser, and Johnny, an innocent, scared boy have many obvious differences, but despite the fact that they are so unalike Johnny and Dally have distinct similarities.
Johnny and Dally have a few similarities. For example, both of the characters have neglectful parents. Dally Winston resents his parents so much that he doesn’t bother mentioning them much throughout the novel. Dally never mentions his mother, proving that he does not have much to say about her. The one time Dallas does mention his father is when explaining to Johnny and Pony what has been happening back home. He states “‘Shoot, my old man didn’t give a hang whether I’m in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter”’ (88). Since Dally does not say anything good about his father the one time he does mention him, it is obvious that he would rather not think of his parents. Ponyboy also remarks that “Dally had spent three years on the wild side of New York and had been arrested at the age of ten” (10). If Dallas had caring parents they would have never let Dally near the “wild side” off New York. Watchful and loving parents would have raised Dally to be a better kid. Likewise, Johnny’s parents have no chance of winning the “Parent of the Year Award” either. Johnny, from Ponyboys perspective, is like a lost, beaten up puppy. The reason to this mishap are Johnny’s parents. Ponyboy thinks to himself “If it hadn’t been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are” (12). This suggests that Johnny’s parents never gave him the love or affection that he deserves. The only way Johnny ever experienced any of these rewarding emotions was due to the gang. As Ponyboy and Johnny are walking one night Johnny sighs, “‘I think I like it better when the old man’s hittin’ me. . . At least then I know he knows who I am. I walk in that house, and nobody says anything. I walk out, and nobody says anything. I stay away all night, and nobody notices. . . I ain't got nobody”’ (51). Many children have a flourishing relationship with their parents, both sides of the relationship caring much for the other. In this scenario Johnny makes it clear that his parents do not care at all for him. He points out that he has neglectful parents even more. Another way Johnny and Dally are analogous is that both of them are gallant. At first Pony thinks Johnny is talking nonsense when he says “‘They [the fuzz] was gettin’ him for breakin’ out the windows in a school building, and it was Two-Bit. And Dally knew it. But he just took the sentence without battin’ an eye or even denyin’ it. That’s gallant”’ (76). Towards the end of the novel Ponyboy realizes that Johnny was right, and even though Dally is known as a teenage juvenile delinquent he is gallant because of the way he stands up for his friends and is not afraid of anything, including the...

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