The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders book cover
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What are Two-bit's personality traits and physical characteristics?

Two-Bit Matthews is the oldest member of the Greasers. He is optimistic, kind, and very funny; he loves cracking jokes, and he is always loyal to the other Greasers. Physically, Two-Bit is tall and muscular, he has gray eyes and "rusty-colored sideburns," and he is always grinning.

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The character Two-Bit Mathews is introduced to the reader early in S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders. Hinton’s story about the perpetual and futile feud between the Greasers, represented by, among others, Ponyboy Curtis and his brothers, and the Socs, the upper-class boys from the other side of the tracks, provides details on Two-Bit that suggest that this is an eminently decent individual with an uncharacteristically upbeat personality and an unquestioning loyalty to his friends. As Ponyboy introduces the story’s main characters, he describes Two-Bit as follows:

Two-Bit Mathews was the oldest of the gang and the wisecracker of the bunch. He was about six-feet tall, stocky in build, and very proud of his long rusty-colored sideburns. He had grey eyes and a wide grin, and he couldn’t stop making funny remarks to save his life. You couldn’t shut that guy up . . .

So, what the reader quickly learns about Two-Bit Mathews is that he is older than the other Greasers, seemingly powerfully built, and always quick with a joke, an important attribute in the bleak daily existence of Hinton’s protagonists. He is depicted as kind and always ready to come to the assistance of the other Greasers, including Ponyboy.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Two-Bit Mathews is the biggest joker of the Greasers.  He is the one who can never be serious, whether he's being arrested or whether he's likely to get into a fight.  "There are four more of us in the backseat" said the Soc.  "Well I pity the back seat," said Two-Bit.  Or words to that effect -- it's not a direct quote.

You can find a physical description of him very early in the book -- right after the Greasers chase off the Socs who were going to beat up Ponyboy on his way home from the movies.  He is about six feet tall and stocky.  He has "rusty-colored" hair and gray eyes.

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aznboy578 | Student

A few words to describe him is.

 

Funny

Well-built

Fool

Drunkard

Nice

mkcapen1 | Student

Hinton demonstrated a variety of personalities when she developed each character in the book "The Outsiders."  Two-Bit is described as being the oldest in the group of the Greasers.  He is the jokester.  He stands at six feet in height and has a stocky build.  He wears long rusty side burns.  His eyes are gray and he is always wearing a big grin like a Cheshire cat. His real name is Keith.  He is loquacious.    Everything seems funny to Two-bit, even stealing which he does quite often.   He carries a black handled switch blade.  He has been held back in school and continues to be an 18 year old junior in high school. He actually likes school which could be because it is a stage for his antics. It is stated in the book that he "attends it for kicks." (10)  He enjoys fighting and is fond of blond females.

Two-Bit is the fellow that is fun to be around.  He lightens up situations.