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.