How does The Outsiders relate to the quote below?
"The ultimate measure of a man is not how he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
This is a very interesting quote with which to examine this excellent novel. Of course, when reading it, the first character that comes to mind is Johnny and his heroic, self-sacrificial act of saving the children from the fire in the church. In particular, I recall Johnny's words in the letter that he sent to Ponyboy and how, close to his death, he comes to a real understanding of the value of his actions:
Listen, I don't mind dying now. It's worth it. It's worth saving those kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more to live for. Some of their parents came by to thank me and i know it was worth it.
Clearly, Johnny has shown his true character in that moment where he chose to save the lives of his children by sacrificing his own.
However, at the same time I think of other characters when I read this quote, such as Darry, who was forced to give up his hopes of studying, even though he was intelligent enough to gain a scholarship, so that he could look after his brothers. I also think of Ponyboy and how at the end of the story he resolves to contribute something to try and help the horrendous division that he has experienced. Each of them in a way are not living in moments of "comfort and convenience," but are standing at times of "challenge and controversy." As a result, they show their true colours.