The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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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? From The Outsiders.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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.

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keke77877 | Student

i just read the book for the second time now, but have u ever had a bffl u cant live with out and they get hurt and u say i wish it was some one else or i wish it was me and not her? well its like that johnny was the pet the one that look to peolp for help and to see him just die be for urs eyes i sad.


hope this helps :)

paigy16 | Student

The reason is that Johnny"s the little brother of the greasers. Though he is not the youngest the gang take care of him. Does that make sense.