What kind of things does Dallas Winston say and what does the narrator tell us about him in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dallas Winston is, by everyone's account, the toughest, hardest and meanest of all of the greasers in The Outsiders. As Dally tells the girls at the drive-in,

"I'm never nice."

Dally has been hardened by his life on the streets of New York City. His parents don't seem to care about him, and he doesn't seem to miss them very much.

"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."

Dally's philosophy is to always stay tough.

"I was crazy... Crazy for wantin' Johnny to stay outa trouble, for not wantin' him to get hard. If he'd been hard like me he'd never have been in this mess... You'd better wise up, Pony... you get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you..."

Dally's only loves seem to be horses and fighting--and his friendship with Johnny. But the others see some good in Dally. Johnny likens him to a Southern gentleman out of his favorite novel, Gone with the Wind. Cherry Valance finds him nearly irresistible: She knows its better to stay away from Dally or else she may fall for him. His fellow greasers respect his fighting ability, and even Darry is wary of him. In a word, according to Pony, Dally was "dangerous." Despite an elfish face, his

"... eyes were blue, blazing ice, cold with a hatred of the whole world."

Pony admits to not liking Dally,

"... but he was smart and you had to respect him."

Read the study guide:
The Outsiders

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