Should Dally Winston be considered as a hero after helping save the children in the church or should Johnny get all the credit?

Expert Answers
mrsenglish eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your answer to this may depend upon your interpretation of Dally Winston's character in general and his specific intentions when he enters the church.  How do we define a hero?  Also, how do we evaluate Dally?  It seems as though all that really matters to the reckless Dally is Johnny.  If Johnny had not entered the church, Dally would not have entered the church.  He accomplished a heroic act of helping to save children, but he only did so in order to assist Johnny, the one person in the world for whom he is willing to die.  It seems that to give Johnny the credit would be the right and noble thing, since it is Johnny who initiates the heroic act, and also inspires Dally to help. Dally wants to show the world that he does not care.  He does not care about laws or offending "Soc" girls.  However, he cannot hide that he cares about the group's "kid brother" Johnny.

appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Regardless of Dally's motivation for helping at the fire, it can be said that he did experience some small measure of character transformation from his actions. One of the main features of the heroic journey as described by Campbell in "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" is that, early on, the hero receives "the call" but usually refuses it. Dally's refusal to be compassionate towards others may be seen as his way of refusing this call, but his compassion towards his close friends turns out to be a lesson in compassion towards others in general. In this way, saving the children is one act that can be counted towards Dallas Winston's heroic journey.

ilovedallaswinston | Student

yes becaz they may not hv got the children all out if Dally wuldnt hv helped no mttr wat hiz motivez 4 doing it waz but it all dependz on how u look at him

timberlaker | Student

Yes, because after when Ponyboy gets out through the window of the church Dally tries to take out the fire that was on Ponyboy's back.

yeeebaybay | Student