In chapter 5 of The Outsiders, why does Johnny think Dally is a hero?

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Another reason Johnny thinks Dally is a hero is because Dally seems to have risen above the sorrows life has accorded him. Much like Johnny, Dally has had a difficult and unhappy upbringing.

Despite this, Dally has managed to remain tough and courageous. Additionally, he unselfishly looks out for Johnny and Pony. This is evident when Dally helps Ponyboy and Johnny make their getaway after Johnny kills Bob. He gives both boys a gun and fifty dollars and tells them to take the freight train to Windrixville. Then, Dally tells Ponyboy and Johnny to hide out at an abandoned church atop Jay Mountain. He instructs them to buy a week's worth of groceries and to wait for him there. Dally tells them that he will come for them when the coast is clear.

Later, Dally visits Ponyboy and Johnny at their hideout. He brings a letter from Sodapop for Ponyboy and then takes the boys to a Dairy Queen. There, he treats them to a meal of banana splits and barbecue sandwiches. Dally's generosity and gruff kindness inspire admiration in Johnny.

When Ponyboy and Johnny struggle during the church fire, it's Dally who helps them again. As can be seen, Dally makes it a point to look out for Johnny and Ponyboy despite his own unhappiness. To Johnny, Dally is a hero because he has managed to transcend his terrible upbringing to develop a strong, courageous, and tough exterior.

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After reading Gone with the Wind, Johnny states that he feels like Dally is a hero in the same vein as Rhett Butler and the other men of Southern gentility. Dally has shown a protectiveness and acted as sort of a father for the crew of The Outsiders. Johnny, who has no true family, feels a kinship with Dally, and the paternal feelings he receives from Dally, as well as Dally's care for the others and his willingness to accept the blame and protect his friends, lead Johnny to revere him as a leader and a hero.

Johnny has something of a son/younger-brother relationship to Dally, and Dally acts as a father figure and protector for the whole group. The kindness he shows makes him heroic in Johnny's eyes.

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In chapter 5, Ponyboy reads Gone with the Wind to Johnny, who enjoys hearing about the brave Southern gentlemen in the story. Johnny is impressed by the charm and manners of the Southern gentlemen and mentions to Pony that they remind him of Dally. Pony is initially confused by Johnny's comparison because Dally is an extremely rude individual. However, Johnny responds by telling Ponyboy about the time he saw Dally get arrested for a crime Two-Bit committed. Despite the fact that Two-Bit was responsible for breaking the school windows, Dally took the blame without "battin' an eye or even denyin' it." Johnny proceeds to tell Ponyboy that he thinks Dally is a gallant person, much like the Southern gentlemen who ride into certain death throughout Gone with the Wind. After hearing Johnny's story about Dally, Pony finally realizes Johnny's "hero-worship" for him. Johnny views Dally as a hero because he is willing to accept punishment and take the blame for his friends. The well-being of Dally's friends is his top priority, and Johnny admires Dally's gallant personality.

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In chapter 5, while Ponyboy and Johnny are in the church hiding from the police, they read Gone with the Wind to pass the time.  They are both impressed by the gallantry of the Southern Gentlemen in the book.  Johnny compares them to Dally.  Ponyboy disagrees.  He feels Soda is more like them since he's the charming one and feels Dally is nothing like them because he is rude and ill mannered.  Johnny insists Dally is heroic like the Southern Gentlemen because he's always able to stay cool and keep calm.  One time Johnny witnessed Dally getting arrested for breaking the windows at school.  It was actually Two-Bit who did it, but instead of telling the police it was Two-Bit, he calmly took the punishment for his friend.

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