What advice would you give Dally in The Outsiders?  I have a school project and i picked dally to write a letter regarding advice. Heres his part: Dear _______ My best friend Johnny just died. I...

What advice would you give Dally in The Outsiders?  

I have a school project and i picked dally to write a letter regarding advice.

Heres his part:

Dear _______

My best friend Johnny just died. I do not know what to do. I feel like killing myself. He supported me and looked up to me. No one else cares about me. My parents don't care about me. Society looks at me as being a thug, a criminal. Am i ever going to get a chance to escape the east side? Will I ever find someone who will be there for me like Johnny was? Help, before I go crazy!

Dallas Winston

Asked on by ivydhillon

3 Answers | Add Yours

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I would tell him that Johnny died with purpose in saving the lives of the children in the fire, and that his ,ain regret was not doing more, seeing more of life and experiencing nwe things. I would say that Dally should look to feel the joy of being a hero, rather than the fear of being a victim or the angst of being a  criminal. I would try to steer him to see what Johnny learnt in his brief life and to carry it on.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that you would need to give him tangible advice.  Just telling a person to hang in there and be tough when they are struggling and they feel like killing themselves seems like it wouldn't be enough.

You would need to figure out opportunities that you could tell Dallas about.  Maybe you could say that there is a community college there where he could take courses that could help him get a decent job and be respected.  You could point out that people like Darry can be true to their friends (not "sell out") but still have regular jobs and be more respected by society.

So I think you need to show him a way out of his problems, not just tell him to be strong.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would actually speak characterizations from Dallas' film, Gone With the Wind. I would remind him that Rhett Butler himself has to fight through what others think about him and end up living only for himself.  Rhett is rejected by Scarlett and by all of society, yet he walks and leaves on his own terms.  With his cavalier attitude, this might be something that can help Dallas persevere even after Johnny's death.  Rhett never quit, and Dallas shouldn't either.  Accordingly, I think that much of my advice would be that Johnny looked up to Dally for a reason.  If Dally ends his own life or threatens himself, he also endangers the vaulted perception of Johnny, who was not validated by any force of society.  The only arena in which Johnny's voice was heard was through Dallas' embodiment of being a gentleman.  I would remind Dallas that for nothing else, he should carry on and persevere for Dallas' impression of him.  In the final analysis, Dallas has to see himself through his own lens of consciousness, and not through what society sees about him.

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