The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does Two-Bit mean when he says, "We could get along without anyone but Johnny"?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,327 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In Chapter 8, Ponyboy and Two-Bit visit Dally and Johnny in the hospital. Johnny's injuries are severe, and Ponyboy tries his best to cheer him up by telling Johnny that he'll be okay. Ponyboy also says, "We couldn't get along without you" (Hinton 103). Pony thinks about his comment and mentions that they needed Johnny as much as Johnny needed the gang for the same reason. Johnny then tells Ponyboy that he's scared that he will die, and laments about the possibility of dying young before experiencing the world. Shortly after their conversation, the nurse appears and tells Johnny that his mother is here to see him. Johnny says that he doesn't want to see her, struggles to sit up, then passes out cold on the pillow. The nurse tells Pony and Two-Bit it is time to leave, and they walk out of Johnny's room. Two-Bit comments, "We could get along without anyone but Johnny" (Lee 104).

Two-Bit and Ponyboy both realize that Johnny's death would profoundly affect their gang. Johnny was a sympathetic, quiet individual who was a great listener. All of the members of the gang would vent about their lives to Johnny, and Johnny would actually listen. His friendship was valuable, and his ability to listen was indispensable. Without Johnny, the Greasers would have no one to voice their feelings to and be forced to repress their emotions. Johnny was also viewed as everyone's little brother, and the Greasers took care of him. Every member developed a loving relationship with Johnny, and he was part of their "family." Losing Johnny would be devastating for everyone in the group which is why Two-Bit and Pony believe they couldn't make it without Johnny.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial