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In The Outsiders what dose Johnny mean when he says, "I think I like it better when...

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LordOFire | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM via web

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In The Outsiders what dose Johnny mean when he says, "I think I like it better when the old man's hittin me... at least then I know he knows who I am."?

The answer to my Question is on page 51 in my book.

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mattbuckley | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM (Answer #1)

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This quote comes about right after Ponyboy runs away because Darry hit him. This serves to show the reader how these two characters differ in this story. Ponyboy is hit by his brother but his brothers both love him dearly. Darry is horrified by what he has done as he "looked at the palm of his hand where it had turned red and then looked back at [Ponyboy]. His eyes were huge." It is implied that nothing like this has ever happened. We then hear from Johnny who lives very differently in his home. The quote about his "old man" hitting him being preferred illustrates his detachment from his parents. He states, "I walk in that house, and nobody says anything. I walk out, and nobody says anything. I stay away all night, and nobody notices." He says he prefers to be hit because at least then he is being noticed. As it is he feels like a ghost.

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