In the book The Outsiders, what was Johnny's relationship with his parents like?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Johnny has a terrible relationship with his parents, who are physically abusive and neglect him on a regular basis. Johnny's father is an alcoholic, who continually beats him, while his mother goes out of her way to avoid him. Johnny's awful relationship with his parents is one of the main reasons he constantly hangs out with the other gang members and is why Pony refers to him as a lost puppy. Essentially, the Greasers are Johnny's surrogate family and care more about him than his actual father and mother. When Johnny is in the hospital fighting for his life, Pony and Two-Bit see his mother on her visit and overhear her rude, insensitive conversation with the doctor regarding her son's well-being. Instead of behaving like a concerned parent, Johnny's mother acts like he is causing her unneeded stress and shows no sympathy for her son. The fact that Johnny refuses to see his mother while he is in critical condition emphasizes their terrible relationship.

sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Johnny's relationship with his parents is nonexistent. Sure, Johnny interacts with his parents, but that does not mean that he has a relationship with his parents. I suppose that a case could be made that any interaction is indicative of a relationship. If that is the case, then Johnny's relationship with his parents is unhealthy. They abuse him both physically and emotionally. Johnny's father is a drunk—a mean and violent drunk, to be specific, and he frequently beats Johnny. Johnny's mother does nothing to intervene and stop the beatings, nor does she do anything to console Johnny afterward. She either verbally abuses Johnny or completely ignores him. It's no wonder that Johnny feels love and companionship from the Greasers. Johnny's home life has left him quite skittish, which is why Ponyboy describes Johnny as

"a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers."

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Johnny is beaten by his father, a drunk, and ignored by his mother. Johnny stays around for his friends, the adult world has no use for him. Even his teachers think he is ignorant.

ik9744 | Student

Johnny and his parents hated each other. Johnny usually gets send out of the house at night and sleeps in the parking lot. His parents also abused him