How can each of the Greasers be considered a "hero" in The Outsiders? Be sure to include the definition of a hero and examples from the text.

Ponyboy is willing to see beyond class boundaries, reaching out to Cherry and Marcia at the movies. He also perseveres through the deaths of his parents and in trying to maintain a difficult relationship with Darry. Most notably, he is a true friend to Johnny and helps save the kids from the fire, literally putting his life on the line to do so. It doesn't get much more heroic than that. There isn't any real good reason for fighting except self-defense. Ponyboy Curtis: Ponyboy Curtis is the narrator of The Outsiders .

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Dictionary.com defines hero as "a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character." That seems like a pretty safe place to start, so we'll use that as our basis of determination.

Ponyboy: Ponyboy is willing to see beyond class boundaries, reaching out to Cherry and Marcia at the...

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Dictionary.com defines hero as "a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character." That seems like a pretty safe place to start, so we'll use that as our basis of determination.

Ponyboy: Ponyboy is willing to see beyond class boundaries, reaching out to Cherry and Marcia at the movies. He also perseveres through the deaths of his parents and in trying to maintain a difficult relationship with Darry. Most notably, he is a true friend to Johnny and helps save the kids from the fire, literally putting his life on the line to do so. It doesn't get much more heroic than that. An example of a heroic Ponyboy quote is in Chapter 9:

There isn't any real good reason for fighting except self-defense.

Darry: As the oldest brother, Darry is left in charge when the boys's parents die. Before this, he had a different life. He is extremely good looking, had a chance to go to college, and was incredibly athletic. At one point, he had the chance to move beyond Greaser existence. However, now he is pretty much stuck (at least for now) making sure Soda and Pony are taken care of. This creates a serious, moody, and even sometimes violent Darry, but in the end, he is sacrificing a lot for his family, and that is certainly noble.

Sodapop: Pony adores Soda, who is warm and open with him. Sodapop drops out of high school to help support their family, which snows nobility in character. When he finds out Sandy is pregnant with another man's baby, he offers to be the father she needs—again quite noble. And Soda really values the family he has left and is willing to do anything to make sure that they not only stay together but stay close. A heroic Soda quote that shows this is found in Chapter 12:

It's just . . . I can't stand to hear y'all fight . . . Sometimes I have to get out or . . . It's like a middleman in a tug o' war and I'm being split in half . . . We're all we've got left. We ought to be able to stick together against anything. If we don't have each other, we don't have anything.

Two-Bit: Two-Bit keeps the gang laughing and enjoys going to school even though academics are not among his strongest talents. Still, it is easy to see how a social, easygoing guy would enjoy hanging out with lots of other kids at school. It would be easy to pass Two-Bit over as he doesn't seem to do anything especially heroic individually, but he does take care of Pony. He is compassionate to the loss Pony has suffered and takes Pony under his wing like a bonus big brother.

Steve: Steve is Soda's best friend, and he finds Pony an annoyance. He makes it clear that he'd rather not have Pony in the vicinity of their fun. Steve is a follower of the group and a static character overall. He doesn't really do anything himself to advance the plot, so I'm not sure you could make a case specific to his individual actions to classify him as a hero.

Dally: Dally likely isn't considered a hero for most of the book. After all, he has quite a long history with breaking the law and has even been known to "jump small kids." However, at the end, he does risk his life to save Johnny, and that shows a noble and courageous character. A courageous Dally quote is in Chapter 9:

I was crazy, you know that, kid? Crazy for wantin' Johnny to stay out of trouble, for not wantin' him to get hard. If he'd been like me he'd never have been in this mess.

Johnny: Johnny has lived a difficult life. His parents often abuse him, and Ponyboy notes that the gang is the only real sense of family that Johnny has ever known. In spite of that, Johnny believes in treating people kindly. When his idol, Dally, is giving Cherry and Marcia a hard time at the movies, it is Johnny who has the courage to put him in his place. He listens to all Ponyboy's dreams and supports them, and then he saves Pony's life by killing Bob. Whether that act is heroic or not is up for debate. However, he does save the children, which is certainly noble, and ends up losing his because of it. A courageous Johnny quote is in Chapter 6:

It ain't fair for Ponyboy to have to stay up in that church with Soda and Darry worryin' about him all the time.

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A hero is usually defined as a person "of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities," and most of the greasers share at least a portion of this description. The three Curtis brothers all have heroic qualitities. Ponyboy shows his courage when he enters the burning church to save the children. Soda shows a heroic nature by his willingness to accept responsibility for Sandy's unborn child, even when it is not his. Darry takes over as the head of the family, working two jobs to see that he and his brothers stay together; at the rumble, he alone volunteers to take on all comers. Johnny and Dally both show courage when they join Pony inside the burning church, living up to the gallantry shown by the Southern gentlemen in Gone With the Wind. Even Two-Bit shows his bravery when he stands up to the Socs who harrass them following the movie. 

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