What does Johnny think makes a hero? Do you think Dally is a hero based on what he did?Chapter 5The Outsiders

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Johnny is impressed with the idea of Southern gentlemen "riding into sure death because they were gallant" after reading Gone With the Wind with Ponyboy.  He equates being a hero with the idea of fearlessly disregarding danger to one's self for someone else, or perhaps for a higher ideal.  With this definition of heroism, I can understand why Johnny would think of Dally as a hero, even though Ponyboy does not agree.  Dally, although he is rough and crude, and can be rude and even violent, will put himself completely on the line for his friends.  He does exactly that in helping Johnny and Ponyboy escape after the murder of the Soc, doing everything he can for them without a second thought, even though by his actions he could be considered an accomplice.  Johnny also remembers when Dally uncomplainingly took the rap when he (Dally) was wrongly accused for something Two-Bit did.  Dally may not be law-abiding, but he is street-smart and real.  He will give anything for those he loves, and to Johnny, that makes him a hero (Chapter 5).