compare and contrast jonny and dally. what roles do they play in the novel?what roles do they play in ponyboy life?

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hannahcorinne | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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In S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Dally Winston and Johnny Cade both belong to the same group as Ponyboy: the Greasers. Johnny is young (16) and lives with his alcoholic and abusive parents. When Johnny stabs Bob--a Soc guy who nearly drowned Ponyboy--he doesn't do it like a cold, hardened killer: he seems terrified. Johnny is Ponyboy's best friend, and they both seem at times like they don't quite belong in the Greasers. They value nonviolence, acceptance, and openness far more than the others seem to.

Dally, on the other hand, is more hardened. He lived on the street in New York for years, and he isn't as sensitive as Johnny. He's still capable of extreme emotion (when Johnny dies, for example, Dally is completely crushed), but he responds differently. After Johnny's death, Dally essentially commits suicide: he robs a store and points a gun at police officers, who then shoot him.

Dally encourages Ponyboy to be harder and tougher. His way of seeing the world as a constant series of conflicts means that he's good in the gang: he's tough and loyal. Johnny, on the other hand, is weaker but perhaps a more sympathetic character (i.e. a character we can relate to). When Johnny and Ponyboy hide out after Bob's death, Johnny is moved by Ponyboy's reading of the Robert Frost poem. Johnny's complex and sensitive emotions resound with Ponyboy better, probably, than Dally's hardened gang-partisan mentality.

It is Johnny who seems to have the most lasting impact upon Ponyboy. After Johnny dies, Ponyboy finds a note from him telling him to "stay gold": a reference to the Frost poem. On this advice, Ponyboy rallies himself to write about his experiences.

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ik9744 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Johnny and Dally are similar because they both died. But they are different because Johnny doesn’t like to fight. They had a big impact on the story because they both died.

giovanniel's profile pic

giovanniel | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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In S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Dally Winston and Johnny Cade both belong to the same group as Ponyboy: the Greasers. Johnny is young (16) and lives with his alcoholic and abusive parents. When Johnny stabs Bob--a Soc guy who nearly drowned Ponyboy--he doesn't do it like a cold, hardened killer: he seems terrified. Johnny is Ponyboy's best friend, and they both seem at times like they don't quite belong in the Greasers. They value nonviolence, acceptance, and openness far more than the others seem to.

Dally, on the other hand, is more hardened. He lived on the street in New York for years, and he isn't as sensitive as Johnny. He's still capable of extreme emotion (when Johnny dies, for example, Dally is completely crushed), but he responds differently. After Johnny's death, Dally essentially commits suicide: he robs a store and points a gun at police officers, who then shoot him.

Dally encourages Ponyboy to be harder and tougher. His way of seeing the world as a constant series of conflicts means that he's good in the gang: he's tough and loyal. Johnny, on the other hand, is weaker but perhaps a more sympathetic character (i.e. a character we can relate to). When Johnny and Ponyboy hide out after Bob's death, Johnny is moved by Ponyboy's reading of the Robert Frost poem. Johnny's complex and sensitive emotions resound with Ponyboy better, probably, than Dally's hardened gang-partisan mentality.

It is Johnny who seems to have the most lasting impact upon Ponyboy. After Johnny dies, Ponyboy finds a note from him telling him to "stay gold": a reference to the Frost poem. On this advice, Ponyboy rallies himself to write about his experiences.

 

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