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In The Outsiders, what is a "heater," and why does Dally have one?This reference is in...

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ninasport | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 13, 2010 at 3:26 AM via web

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In The Outsiders, what is a "heater," and why does Dally have one?

This reference is in chapter 5.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 13, 2010 at 4:04 AM (Answer #1)

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A "heater" is a slang word for a pistol or a hand gun. Dallas Winston, the toughest and most street-wise member of the greasers in The Outsiders, grew up on the streets of New York. He has been arrested many times (he brags about his police file), and he is more prone to violence than the Curtis brothers or the other gang members. He carries a heater in case he should ever need it, and Johnny knows this; Dally loans it to Johnny and Pony when they go on the lamb. 

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