Ponyboy and Two-Bit say that the gang couldn't get along w/o Johnny.  Two-Bit wishes that anyone else were in the hospital and not Johnny. Why?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Johnny Cade is the youngest, smallest member of the Greasers, who Pony refers to as the "gang's pet" and "everyone's kid brother." Johnny is an introverted, defenseless boy, who relies on the protection of the other Greaser members to survive in the rough environment. Similar to many of the Greasers,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Johnny Cade is the youngest, smallest member of the Greasers, who Pony refers to as the "gang's pet" and "everyone's kid brother." Johnny is an introverted, defenseless boy, who relies on the protection of the other Greaser members to survive in the rough environment. Similar to many of the Greasers, Johnny has a difficult home life, and the gang serves as his surrogate family. Johnny suffers from both physical and psychological abuse at home, which is why he resembles a "little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times."

Since Johnny is relatively quiet and reserved, everyone gets along with him. Johnny's friends also sympathize with his situation and go out of their way to comfort him. Even Dally, who is the most callous, insensitive member of the gang, develops a close relationship with Johnny and truly cares about his well-being. Essentially, Johnny is important and a positive influence on the gang. Two-Bit's comment concerning Johnny reveals his significance to the gang. Johnny's kind nature and quiet disposition give the Greasers a sense of responsibility and bring them closer to each other. He is a valued member of the gang and would be sorely missed if he were to die.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Johnny Cade is the glue that holds their greaser gang together. He is the smallest member and also one of the most introverted. His life at home with his parents is a terrible one, and he has become like a brother to the other members. He is the only true, close friend of Dallas Winston; without Johnny, Dally would probably not be accepted. Johnny has also endured several beatings, and he is physically one of the weakest members. Two-Bit believes any of the other members of the gang would be better suited to deal with their injuries. Even if Johnny would have survived, he would have been paralyzed and forced to remain in bed at his unhappy home. Life would be more terrible for him than for any of the other greasers. Johnny is like a little brother to the rest of the gang--particularly to Pony, Two-Bit and Dally. Without him, their greaser family would not be complete.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team