What about Dally makes him the meanest member of the greasers in The Outsiders?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dally is so intimidating to the other greasers, that not even Darry would fight him. At the beginning of the story he has just been released from jail, & it's certainly not his first time there. While the other Greasers are probably willing to steal, Dally has moved on to armed robbery. He is incredibly hard-bitten, much more so than any other member of the gang. He is also older, and he has a certain coldness that the others don't. He is openly rude and inappropriate to Cherry throughout the story. Dally is the one greaser who essentially has nothing to live for; nothing, that is, except Johnny. When Johnny dies, Dally loses all hope. The bitterness and hopelessness that has been boiling under the surface explodes, causing Dally to stage his own death. 

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The Outsiders

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