Why did the doctor allow Two-Bit and Ponyboy to visit Johnny in the hospital in The Outsiders? The answer is somewhere in chapters 8-10, but I just don't know where! Please help!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the beginning of chapter eight, Pony and Two-Bit visit the hospital to see their close friend, Johnny, who is in critical condition after a flaming beam broke his back. When they arrive at the hospital, the nurse initially refuses to allow them to visit Johnny. Since Pony and Johnny are not family members, the nurse prohibits them from seeing their close friend. Pony mentions that Two-Bit refused to take no for an answer and continued to argue with the nurse for an extended period of time.

After begging and pleading with the nurse to see Johnny, a compassionate doctor intervenes and gives the boys permission to visit their friend. The doctor tells the nurse that Johnny has been asking to see them and remarks that "It can't hurt now" (Hinton, 101). The doctor's comment foreshadows Johnny's impending death, and he allows Pony and Two-Bit to see him because he realizes that Johnny will not live much longer. The doctor sympathizes with Johnny's tragic situation and demonstrates compassion by allowing Pony and Two-Bit to see their dying friend. Even though they are not family and it is against the hospital's policy, the doctor grants Johnny's wishes by allowing him to visit his friends.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On the night of the fire, the doctors originally didn't want to discuss Johnny's and Dally's condition, saying they would only talk to family. But Darry finally convinced the doctor that "we were about as much family as Dally and Johnny had." They Curtis brothers decided to head home for the night, and Pony and Two-Bit waited until the next day to visit their two friends. Because Johnny was in critical condition, he was not supposed to have visitors.

But Two-Bit wouldn't take no for an answer. That was his buddy in there and he aimed to see him.

The two boys "begged and pleaded" with the nurse, but she would not allow them to see Johnny until a doctor intervened. Since Johnny had been asking for Pony and Two-Bit, the doctor decided to allow them in, telling the boys that

"It can't hurt now."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial