Heroes in “The Outsiders”

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains many events in the book The Outsiders.      

We have finished The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and are now assigned to write about five character’s heroic deeds in the book. We are going to write about Ponyboy, Sodapop, Darrel (Darry), Johnny, and Dallas (Dally). I believe a hero is one who fights for good and resists temptation. He/She is a modest, diligent person fighting for good. People who do heroic acts, however, are not always heroes. They could’ve been criminals who just rescued somebody at the right time. They just might have had the good streak come out of them.

Johnny is the most heroic of them all. He doesn’t tell on the greasers when the cops catch them. He endures getting whipped by his parents. He saved those kids from the church, along with Ponyboy. He defended the girls from Dally at the Nightly Double. Most of all, he saved Ponyboy’s life, when the Socs were drowning him. Sure, he had to kill somebody. However, if he did not kill Bob, then the Socs would’ve killed Ponyboy.

Ponyboy was a hero most of the time in the book. He was the protagonist of the book, the youngest and quietest of the greasers. He did not commit crimes like Dally, he did not steal like Two-bit, he did not get sent to the reformatory like Curly Shepard. He was almost always good, his heroic times being not insulting the girls at The Nightly Double, jumping into the church to save the kids, staying with Johnny while he was in the hospital, and not being as bad as the other greasers. He did have his bad times, like fighting in the rumble and threatening to fight three Socs.

Darry is very heroic. He lets greasers come to his house uninvited if they just need a place to crash for the night. He took care of his younger brothers after their parents died, taking two jobs. He works day and night to support his family. He “grew up too fast”. Darry did many unheroic things, however, he almost bullies Ponyboy. He once slapped him, causing Ponyboy to run away for a week. He is very heroic, but he also has a bad temper.

Sodapop was half and half. He was a hero, constantly defending Pony against Darry, and dropping out of high school so he could help support Ponyboy going to school. He cared very deeply for things he loved, like Mickey Mouse and Sandy. He was wild and he did have his bad times, but he is a loving, caring figure in Ponyboy’s life. Sodapop is a genuine nice person.

Dally is the least heroic. He steals, lies, cheats, gets drunk, rides in rodeos, and gets put in jail about once a month. When he lived in New York, he mugged people and got arrested at the age of ten! He did have some acts of heroism in the end, though. He convinced Johnny to not turn himself in because he didn’t want him to get hardened to jail.  Also, he put out the flames on Ponyboy’s back. Dally died a juvenile delinquent, but he was also slightly heroic.

Overall, all of the main characters in The Outsiders were heroic at some point. I put the paragraph of each character in the order of the most heroic. Johnny was the most heroic, and Pony a close second; Darry and Sodapop were about half and half; and Dally was the least heroic. All of the characters were bad, robbing and stealing, but they were also heroes. They all looked out for each other, eventually even risking their lives for others.


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One thought on “Heroes in “The Outsiders”

  1. This book does a great job of showing the various types of people. Much like the “4 sons” of the Passover Hagaddah, we need the other types for balance. The key here is not to focus on what the other person is not, but to focus on wha you ARE.

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