Do you agree with Johnny's decision not to see his mother in "The Outsiders"?Do you agree with Johnny's decision not to see his mother in "The Outsiders"?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a question for you to answer, based on your own personal reaction.  Let me lay out both sides and then you can choose.

First - Johnny's mother.  Johnny does not have a great, or even good, relationship with his mother.  He can disappear for days at a time without her noticing.  When she does notice him, she yells at him.  When Ponyboy complains that Darry is always yelling at him, Johnny says that he likes it that way better - at least then, he knows that she sees him.  Because of the anger at his house, Johnny will often sleep in the park or at Ponyboy's just to avoid it.

So, you could argue that she doesn't deserve to see him.  As a mother, she has neglected him, so he has a right to turn her away.

On the other hand, she has come to see him.  She is not yelling and she has shown up to see her injured son.  As a mother, you could argue that she has a right to spend some time with him, especially since he is in critical condition.

What would you do?

Not to sway your decision, but I'll leave you with one lasting thought, a quote from the book:

"If it hadn't been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are".

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I absolutely agree with Jonny's decision not to see his mother, but I am surprised by it. Based on my experience with children in the system, this mother is portrayed as a neglectful and abusive mother quite accurately. Jonny's reaction, while it is what we're satisfied with, is not as accurate. Many children caught up in situations like Jonny's will give the abusive, neglectful parent chances time and time again.

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a tough question. Johnny had been mistreated by his mother, so I can completely understand his decision; however, as I have grown older, I have realized that there are times in life that one cannot ever get back and regrets are forever because one can never get those times back.  If I had been Johnny, I would have seen my mother because of the fragility and unpredictability of human life.

esaha4 | Student

i think i do agree, because his mom was always soo cruel to jonny, it just wasn't rite. since his mom didn't treat him write then i wouldn't want to see her either if i was him.