How can I write an essay in three paragraphs that describes and portrays Johnny Cade as being a hero in the novel The Outsiders?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would begin your essay by describing the characteristics of a hero, and mentioning how those same traits are portrayed in the character of Johnny Cade from the novel The Outsiders. In the first paragraph, I would write about Johnny's troubled childhood and background, as well as comment on how he was viewed as everyone's younger brother in the gang. You could also mention Johnny's unique ability to listen and understand each person's struggles. I would suggest you connect his capacity to help others with a hero's goal to aid society.

In the following two paragraphs, I would discuss how Johnny specifically saves various people's lives throughout the novel. Begin by describing how Johnny saves Ponyboy's life by stabbing Bob Sheldon, which prevents Ponyboy from drowning. Then, discuss how Johnny plans on turning himself into the authorities. Johnny's selfless act and decision to do the right thing correlate with how a hero would make the morally conscious decision. I would then describe how Johnny courageously enters the burning church and saves the group children trapped inside. Also, comment on how the media portrays Johnny as a hero in the newspapers.

In the final paragraph, describe the scene where Johnny tells Dally that fighting is useless and says, "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold..." (Hinton 126). Also, include what Johnny says in the letter he writes to Pony found in Chapter 12. Johnny mentions that saving the children was worth it, describes what he meant by telling Ponyboy to stay gold, and also encourages Ponyboy to tell Dally to look at a sunset. Johnny's message to Ponyboy is his way of attempting to save Ponyboy from a meaningless existence. In his letter, he also ventures to save Dally's life by sharing the positive aspects of the world with him. Johnny's selfless personality and willingness to risk his life for others can be described as heroic.