What advice does Dally give to Johnny about his parents in chapter 6?  

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In chapter six, Johnny informs Dally that he is going to turn himself in because it is not fair to Ponyboy and his brothers to remain cooped up in the abandoned church. After Dally comments that Darry and Sodapop are extremely worried about Pony, Johnny questions Dally if his parents...

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In chapter six, Johnny informs Dally that he is going to turn himself in because it is not fair to Ponyboy and his brothers to remain cooped up in the abandoned church. After Dally comments that Darry and Sodapop are extremely worried about Pony, Johnny questions Dally if his parents asked about him at all. Dally responds by saying,

"No . . . they didn't. Blast it, Johnny, what do they matter? Shoot, my old man don't give a hang whether I'm in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter. That don't bother me none." (Hinton, 75)

Similar to Johnny, Dally also comes from a dysfunctional home and has parents who don't love or care about him at all. However, Dally is tough enough to deal with their callous demeanor and could care less about how they feel. He essentially wishes that Johnny would stop being so sensitive and worrying about his parents, who do not love or care about him at all. Dally's advice to Johnny is to simply forget about them and make decisions based solely on his own feelings. However, Dally does understand that Johnny is significantly more sensitive and shows him respect by agreeing to take him home.

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Both Johnny and Dally have parents who pay little attention to them. Johnny's parents argue all the time and his father beats him, driving Johnny to spend as much time as possible with his greaser brothers. But unlike Dally, who doesn't care about his parents at all, Johnny still yearns for the love of his mother and father. When Johnny decides that he and Ponyboy will return to Tulsa and turn themselves in following their stay at the abandoned church, Dally questions the wisdom of leaving their hideout. Johnny knew that his own parents probably weren't upset about his absence, unlike Darry's and Soda's worries concerning Pony's whereabouts.

"Blast it, Johnny, what do they matter? Shoot, my old man don't give a hang whether I'm in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter. That don't bother me none."

It was typical Dallas Winston, preaching how, if you stay tough, nothing can touch you. But Dally knew that Johnny loved his parents and wanted their love in return, so he went along with the boys' decision to turn themselves in.

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16-year old author S.E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel, The Outsiders (published in 1967), follows the story of two rival gangs, "the greasers" and "Socs" (short for "Socials"). Dally, a member of the "greasers," grew up in New York and was arrested at the age of ten. The narrator, Ponyboy Curtis, remarks that Dally is "tougher than the rest of us" (4). Johnny Cade, the narrator's best friend, is described as "a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times," (4).

After the death of Bob (a Soc) has galvanized the local community, Dally encourages his fellow greasers to hide out in a church. Johnny doesn't want to, preferring to turn himself in. Dally shows an uncharacteristic soft spot when he tells Johnny, "you get hardened in jail. I don't want that to happen to you, like it happened to me," (29). Johnny lives with abusive parents, and when he asks Dally if his parents are concerned for him, Dally tells him that they have not asked about him. Furthermore, he states:

"Blast it, Johnny, what do they matter? Shoot, my old man don't give a hang whether I'm in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter. That don't bother me none." (28).

In brief, Dally tells Johnny that he doesn't care about his own parents and encourages Johnny not to either.

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