What would your advice be to Johnny and Ponyboy if they had come to you for help instead of Dally in The Outsiders? Explain.Basically, if Johnny and Ponyboy came to you for help, what would you...

What would your advice be to Johnny and Ponyboy if they had come to you for help instead of Dally in The Outsiders? Explain.

Basically, if Johnny and Ponyboy came to you for help, what would you tell them, and do you think your advice would be better then Dally's?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just to play the devil's advocate here...

Had the two boys turned themselves in, Pony (and possibly Soda) would probably have been taken into custody and removed from the care of Darry. Johnny would probably have been released into the care of his parents, who would have beaten him for causing them trouble. The two boys would have been charged with some form of murder or manslaughter; perhaps this charge would have been overturned if Cherry and/or Randy decided to tell the truth. However, Randy may not have chosen this path if he was immediately questioned by the police; he and Cherry only decided to tell the truth after Pony and Johnny became heroes by saving the children from the church fire.

If they had turned themselves in immediately, Pony and Johnny (and Dallas) wouldn't have become heroes; nor would the kids at the church been in danger since it was Pony and Johnny's carelessness which caused the fire in the first place. Johnny would not have been injured, and Dallas would not have felt the need to choose suicide by cop.

In retrospect, of course the two boys should have turned themselves in, and any responsible adult would have suggested as much. Johnny and Dallas would have lived much longer lives, and Ponyboy would have been much happier living without the additional notoriety.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would think that my advice would revolve around breaking free from the gang and developing a sense of self.  I think that I would have told the boys to examine Dally and see that he is farther down the path of being unreachable than they were.  There are demons inside him that make him and drive him to do the things he does and act the way he does.  I would stress to Johnny and Ponyboy that these demons are not within them and this might be where the divergence from the group has to happen.  In the final analysis, the wars against the Socs will not result in anything, as the Greasers' empowerment does not increase if the Socs' hold on social status decreases.  I think in stressing to the boys to start living their own life and breaking free from Dally's hold might be the start of my advice to them.  In approaching Dally, they further invest themselves in a gang where there is little, if any, future.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I guess I probably would have told them to turn themselves in.  After all, I am a grown up and have to tell people to behave responsibly.

I think that my advice would likely be better than Dally's, except for one thing.  The whole thing with them saving the kids at the church made Dally's advice look golden (except for Johnny dying.)

If they had followed Dally's advice and hadn't had the chance to save the kids, they would have been in big trouble.  They would have been in trouble for the killing and also for running away.

With my advice, they probably would have been in trouble unless Cherry testified for them.  If she didn't, no one would have believed them.

So they would have been worse off with my advice than they ended up in the book.  But in the book they have the "luck" of saving the kids and that's what gets Ponyboy out of trouble.

mkcapen1 | Student

Being the responsible person that I am, I would have told them to go and get Darry and then to go with Darry and turn themselves in to the law.  I also would have gone and gotten additional help by finding them someone who could take their case or provide support such as a social worker. 

I know the idea of turning themselves in though may have actually been foolish to the boys.  In their world the cops automatically see them as guilty and the Socs as the innocent ones.  Money had a big connection with justice in the Socs world, but for the Greasers lack of money meant injustice.


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The Outsiders

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