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Why does Ponyboy realize he doesn't like Dally in The Outsiders? Please explain.

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camila17 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:58 AM via web

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Why does Ponyboy realize he doesn't like Dally in The Outsiders? Please explain.

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

Posted June 7, 2012 at 7:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Pony only hangs out with Dallas Winston because he is so close to Johnny Cade--Pony's best friend. Johnny idolizes Dally, and Dally treats Johnny like a little brother. Dally is also a member of their greaser gang, another reason Pony tolerates him. While Pony does his best to stay out of serious trouble, knowing that Darry would kill him if he was arrested, Dally is proud of his arrest record and his violent past on the streets of New York City.

... he did everything. I didn't like him, but he was smart, and you had to respect him.  (Chapter 1)

Pony disagrees with Johnny's belief that Dally is similar to the "gallant" Southern characters inGone With the Wind. Where Pony can envision Darry and Soda and even Two-Bit "like the heroes in the novels I read..."

Dally was real... Dally was so real he scared me...
Not even Darry wanted to tangle with him. He was dangerous.  (Chapter 5)

Pony knew that Dally treated most women badly and didn't care "about anyone but himself," and he knew Dally would die by violent means one day, but on the night of the rumble, Pony still felt close to Dally. "Two friends of mine had died that night: one a hero, the other a hoodlum."

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