How does Gone with the Wind relate to The Outsiders?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As was mentioned in the previous post, Ponyboy and Johnny read the novel Gone with the Wind while they are hiding out in the abandoned church. Both characters enjoy the novel, and Ponyboy mentions that he was impressed with the way Johnny was able to understand deeper concepts throughout the story. Pony says that Johnny was particularly interested in the chivalrous Southern gentlemen in the story. Johnny tells Ponyboy that the Southern gentlemen reminded him of Dally because of their gallant characters.

The novel Gone with the Wind revolves around the Civil War. The Greasers and Socs are also involved in their own kind of civil war in their city. The members of the Greasers are also courageous and gallant like the characters in the novel Gone with the Wind. Ponyboy and Johnny both enter the burning church in order to save the children trapped inside. Dally also reveals his gallant character by saving Johnny from the flames and fighting injured against the Socs. The novel also brings Ponyboy and Johnny closer together. Their friendship continues to grow after reading the story and sharing their thoughts.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gone with the Wind is the book that Ponyboy and Johnny read together while they hide in the old church.  Johnny brings a copy of it back with him after getting supplies; he "remembered [Ponyboy] sayin' somethin' about it once" and "thought [he] could read it out loud and help kill time or something" (71).  Hinton uses the themes of bravery from the novel to make connections to her own characters' struggles. 

Ponyboy observes that Johnny "was especially stuck on the Southern gentleman--impressed with their manners and charm" (75).  He thought they were "gallant" and reminded him of Dally's coolness and implacable manner.  When the church catches on fire, Johnny is proud to have his own "gallant" moment when he runs into rescue the children.  Johnny's interest in Southern charm, mannerisms, and the bravery of the men during the Civil War reveals his own personal desire, not just for a more refined life, but to be able to face his troubles with courage.

ik9744 | Student

Nothing gold can stay means nothing good can stay relating to Johnny’s death.

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The Outsiders

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