Why does Johnny think Dally is a hero in Chapter 5 of The Outsiders? Do you think Dally is a hero based on what he did?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Johnny idolizes Dally even before his discussion with Ponyboy concerning the novel Gone With the Wind. But after reading the Margaret Mitchell novel, Johnny begins comparing Dally with the "Southern gentlemen--impressed with their manners and charm." Although Pony disagrees, declaring that Soda is more like a Southern gentleman than Dally, Johnny tells about the time Dally took the blame for Two-Bit for breaking out windows at the school. Dally didn't rat out his friend, and he went to jail, taking

"the sentence without battin' an eye or even denyin' it. That's gallant."

To Pony,

Dally was real... Dally was so real he scared me.

Although I don't see that Dally was any kind of hero for going to jail for a crime he did not commit, Dally does show heroism when he goes into the fire to save Johnny, risking his life for his buddy. Dally more closely resembles an anti-hero, but even anti-heroes are prone to acts of bravery once in a while.