In The Outsiders, what adjectives can I use to describe Johnny Cade, Dallas, Darry, Soda and Two-Bit?  

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Adjectives basically describe nouns and making use of them allows a writer to give descriptive characteristics to any concept whether it is concrete or intangible. Adjectives describe people, things and places and even abstract ideas and feelings. They add interest to sentences and create a visual image for the reader of whatever is being described. In The Outsiders, the characters are described in different ways to ensure that the reader recognizes those characters as he or she reads. The reader can anticipate what perhaps Dally (Dallas Winston) might do based on descriptions of his character and the reader's understanding.  

Ponyboy is the main character and the narrator and he describes the gangs (the Greasers and the Socs) and his family and friends so that the reader can understand the harsh reality for the Greasers who come from the "East side" of town.

Soda is Ponyboy's second-oldest brother and he is "different" because he understands Ponyboy's love of books although he "never cracks a book" himself.  Second-oldest and different have been used as adjectives to describe Soda's characteristics. Soda is "handsomer" and "slimmer" than most and these are comparative adjectives (although more handsome would be the correct form) as they are comparing Soda to everyone else. 

Darry takes care of his younger brothers since their parents were killed so he has a lot of responsibility. He is "rough" and hard on Ponyboy to the point that Ponyboy thinks he doesn't really care about him but it is because he wants the best for Ponyboy that he comes across this way. He is only twenty and in Ponyboy's eyes he is "tough, cool and smart...broad-shouldered and muscular" and is often preoccupied because of the responsibility he has to carry. 

Two-Bit Matthews is described as "stocky" and has "long, rusty-colored hair." He is funny and got his name because he always has to say something and he is "famous for shoplifting" whereas Dally is probably the most dangerous of the gang but he is fiercely loyal. He has an "elfish face" and "blue, blazing-ice" eyes and he is "tougher, colder, meaner" than the rest of the gang.   

Johnny is a tragic character and life is very difficult for him as his parents do not take care of him, even physically abusing him, and he has been attacked by the Socs for no reason except that he is a Greaser. This has rendered him nervous and even "scared of his own shadow." He has a "slight build" and is often mistaken for being younger than he is. He is also "shy" and reveals himself to be quite insightful in his understanding of his Ponyboy, reminding him to "stay gold."

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These are, of course, the main characters--minus Ponyboy--from Susan B. Hinton's classic teen novel, The Outsiders. Darrel (Darry) is the oldest of the Curtis brothers and serves as the father figure of the family after the death of his parents. He is more mature and serious than the other characters. Sodapop Curtis, the second oldest of the brothers, is handsome and romantic. Soda's best friend, Two-Bit Mathews, is frivolous and lazy. Dallas Winston, who grew up on big city streets, is tough and suspicious. Johnny Cade, the best friend of Ponyboy who dies tragically in the end, is quiet and nervous.

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The Outsiders

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