In "The Outsiders", why did Dally rob the convenience store after Johnny died?

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dswain001 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Dallas took Johnny's death really hard. Despite his tough exterior, Dally truly cared about Johnny and seeing him die did something to him. Johnny was the only thing that Dallas cared about and now that Johnny was dead, he saw no reason to live. Dally robbed the store in a fit of anger. He lashed out and wanted to do something, anything, to take the pain away.

Readers often discuss how Johnny "needed" the group, but Dally's behavior shows us that he needed Johnny just as bad. For Dallas, Johnny represented all the innocnece and goodness that no longer resided in him. Dally always encouraged Johnny to be "tuff", but it is possible that he wanted the opposite to happen.

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Lee Campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Dally had just come from the hospital after Johnny's death.  He went into the convenience store in a state of shock and disbelief, and responded to the clerk's simple request by pulling a gun on him.  There is no rational explanation for what Dally did, but at this point in the novel, the reader knows that pulling a gun on someone was not out of character for Dally under normal circumstances, so it's certainly easy to believe that when he snapped under the extreme stress of losing Johnny, his first impulse was to strike out and threaten someone with a weapon.  This made a bad situation worse, and led to his own destruction at the hands of the police.

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sodas-girl101 | Student

He robbed the store because he couldn't take Johnny's death. Johnny was the only thing Dallas ever loved/

sodas-girl101 | Student

After the Greasers won the rumble, Dallas pulled Ponyboy out and said they were going to see Johnny. They walked in and they thought, "Oh God, it's too late. He's already dead." Dally told Johnny about winning the rumble and Johnny was unimpressed and said that the fighting was useless. Johnny said Ponyboy's name and Pony leaned in. Johnny's last words were, "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold." After that, like Pony describes it, the pillow seemed to sink a little and Johnny died. Dally broke down and ran out the door. He ran out of the hospital and into a grocery store. He ripped up a magazine then went over to the counter. Dallas pointed his unloaded heater (gun) at the clerk and demanded for the money. Dally runs out with the money and the clerk starts shooting at him. He calls the Curtis house on a payphone and told them that Johnny was dead. The gang already knew and Dallas asked if they could meet him at the park. The cops followed him to the park and Dallas pulled out the gun. They didn't know it was loaded so they started shooting at him. He crumpled under the streetlight and the gang knew he was dead. His last word was "Pony." Dallas Winston always got what he wanted, and he wanted to be dead. 

crystaltu001 | Student

Dallas took Johnny's death really hard. He did not know what to do at that time. Dallas really cared about Johnny and after Johnny's death he did not know what to do so he robbed the convenience store to take out his anger. And that ended up for him being killed. 

ik9744 | Student

Johnny died and Dally only cares about Johnny so he decided to suicide by pulling the gun out and robbing the store.

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bjg0001 | Student

Since Johnny died, Dally " couldnt live with it" so he robbed the place so that he could lash out on something, and also he wanted to die, Because he lost the person he cares about most

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ilovedallaswinston | Student

becaz it tellz us that Dally haz hardened hizself beyond caring but it turnz out that Johnny az tha onli thing that Dally evr loved even tho he cared 4 all the boiz in the group..seeing az Dally nvr loved anibodi then he culdnt hv lost anibodi he loved so wen he did lose Johnny mi gez iz he didnt no how 2 handle tha pain of losing the onli thing he loved...we dont no if he planned it all out or if he jus did something but he robbed the convient store so tha copz wuld come after them..i gez he called the rest of tha group and told them 2 come 2 tha lot becaz mayb he didnt wana die and he did want them 2 hide him but he mite of just wanted them 2 c how he died amd so wen he pulled out tha gun tha police started shooting at him and Ponyboy sayz that even az tha polices gunfire rained down he new that wat Dally wanted waz 2 be dead and Dally Winston alwayz got wat he wanted

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