What are the physical characteristics of Darry in The Outsiders?
Ponyboy describes his oldest brother Darry as physically resembling their father to a remarkable degree, yet being unlike him in other ways.
It seems funny to me that he should look just exactly like my father and act exactly the opposite from him.
The comparison and contrast between Darry and the boys' father is significant. Following their parents' untimely deaths in a car wreck, Darry, the oldest of the three brothers, has been thrust into a father-figure role. He has to look out for his two younger siblings, Ponyboy and Soda; he has had to assume a lot of responsibility when still quite young himself. This leads him to be rather domineering towards Ponyboy, the youngest, and Ponyboy resents this. Ponyboy feels that Darry doesn't understand him and is too harsh on him; he is not kind like their father was. Ponyboy is too young to appreciate the pressures of responsibility on Darry. It is not until much later in the book that the two brothers are brought closer together, when Ponyboy returns after running away. Darry is moved to tears:
'Oh, Pony, I thought we'd lost you ... like we did Mom and Dad ... '
Darry's emotional reaction shows just worried he has been. This has the effect of making Ponyboy realize for the first time how deeply Darry cares about him, even if he wasn't always able to show it. After this, Ponyboy finally comes to understand his brother.
Darry, Ponyboy's older brother, is muscular and well-built from his years of playing on the football team. Ponyboy describes Darry as looking very similar to his father, so much so that many people mistook them for being brothers instead of father and son. Darry is six-feet-two with dark brown hair "that kicks out in front and a slight cowlick in the back--just like Dad's" (6). According to Ponyboy, Darry's eyes set him apart from their father, his eyes are very intense like "pieces of pale blue-green ice;" this feature makes Darry have a determined, focus look about him. Ponyboy also describes Darry as looking older than his age and ascribes this difference to all of the hardwork and worry that Darry has had to shoulder after the boys' parents were killed in a car wreck.