Why doesn't Johnny want to see his mother in The Outsiders?

Johnny does not want to see his mother because he knows she does not truly care about him and views his desperate situation as a major inconvenience. He understands the Greasers are his true family and his mother is too selfish to actually exercise any compassion towards him. Johnny knows she will only complain and feels more comfortable around his friends.

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It's hardly a mystery as to why Johnny doesn't want to see his mother. A verbally abusive snob, she's never been much of a mother to him, so when she arrives at the hospital to see him after he was severely burned and injured while saving kids from a church...

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It's hardly a mystery as to why Johnny doesn't want to see his mother. A verbally abusive snob, she's never been much of a mother to him, so when she arrives at the hospital to see him after he was severely burned and injured while saving kids from a church fire, he doesn't want to see her.

Johnny's comment to Two-Bit and Ponyboy—“Tell her to leave me alone. For once.”—perfectly illustrates the state of their relationship. Johnny's mom has always been on his case, constantly subjecting him to verbal abuse and making him feel like a worthless piece of garbage.

And now that Johnny's seriously injured and in the hospital, she still won't leave him alone. Truth be told, Johnny would much rather she maintained a consistent attitude towards him instead of trying to act like a concerned mother all of a sudden.

In any case, Johnny's mom is not really a part of his family and hasn't been for some time. His family consists of his fellow Greasers. They're the ones who've always been there for him, come hell or high water.

To most gang members, gangs are like families, providing them with the emotional support that they often don't receive at home. And this is precisely how Johnny has always felt, and feels ever more keenly now as he lies in a hospital bed, his body wracked by severe pain.

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Out of all the Greasers, Johnny has the worst parents and most depressing home life. His father is abusive and his mother is a "selfish snob." They could care less about Johnny's well-being and constantly ignore him unless he upsets them for some reason. Unlike Ponyboy, Johnny has no one at home who cares, listens, or protects him. The Greasers are his true family and he fully relies on them for support.

To make matters worse, Johnny is also one of the most sensitive members of the gang and desperately desires affection from his parents. Despite their neglect and abuse, Johnny has a soft spot for them and hopes they will one day show him the love he deserves. He even asks about them when Dally visits Windrixville.

Even though Johnny is sentimental, he cannot suppress his resentment towards his selfish, insensitive mother when she visits him at the hospital. As Johnny is lying in the hospital bed, he tells the nurse:

I said I don't want to see her ... She's probably come to tell me about all the trouble I'm causing her and about how glad her and the old man'll be when I'm dead. Well, tell her to leave me alone. For once ... for once just to leave me alone.

Essentially, Johnny understands that his mother is only visiting him out of parental obligation or to express her displeasure towards him. She is not truly concerned about his health and views his situation as a major inconvenience.

Johnny's assumption is correct and Ponyboy overhears his mother say, "After all the trouble his father and I've gone to to raise him, this is our reward." Clearly, Johnny's mother is not visiting him to show her support or demonstrate her affection. Johnny understands his mother's intentions and recognizes his fellow Greasers are his true family. Sadly, Johnny cannot recover from his serious injuries and dies at a young age before experiencing the world.

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Johnny refuses to see his mother when he is in the hospital because he feels that she does not care about him.

Johnny Cade came from a troubled home where he suffered abuse at the hands of his father and was neglected by his mother.  We learn early on that Johnny does not like to go home, and that his father often beats him and his mother blames him. 

His father was always beating him up, and his mother ignored him, except when she was hacked off at something, and then you could hear her yelling at him clear down at our house. I think he hated that worse than getting whipped. (Ch. 1) 

This is what makes it so heartbreaking when he gets jumped by a group of Socs.  Johnny is even more nervous after that, afraid of his own shadow.  He only has the gang to look out for him, since as Pony says his father is an alcoholic and his mother is a “selfish slob” (Ch. 3).

When the Socs jump Johnny and Pony in the park, he panics.  After accidentally killing a Soc, Bob, Johnny and Pony went on the run.  The killing was self-defense and Johnny was trying to save Pony’s life.  He did not feel that anyone would understand.  Johnny risked his life to help the children in the church as well. 

When Johnny is in the hospital, his friends are all there trying to visit him.  The doctor allows it because he knows Johnny is dying and it will not make a difference.  However, when Johnny’s mother shows up, he refuses to see her. 

"I said I don't want to see her." His voice was rising. "She's probably come to tell me about all the trouble I'm causing her and about how glad her and the old man'll be when I'm dead. Well, tell her to leave me alone. For once" ---his voice broke--- "for once just to leave me alone." (Ch. 10) 

Johnny feels that his mother is there out of obligation, not because she loves him.  He is afraid that she will once again blame him, and he cannot face it.  He does not feel love for his mother at that moment.  He is in pain and weak, and cannot bear to face her particular demons. 

As the incident with his mother in the hospital shows, Johnny’s real family is his gang.  The greasers have convinced hospital staff that they are his family, and they are right.  Johnny’s parents are not the ones who care about him or take care of him.  His friends do that.

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In S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders, about the difficulties of growing up and the conflict between the upper-class “Socs” and the downtrodden “Greasers,” there is a passage that, intended or not, is entirely relevant to one of the central problems with street gangs in the real world.  In the United States, membership in street, or youth, gangs number in the tens of thousands.  The sad reality is that gangs, for better or worse, and it is mostly for worse, provide many minority youths the only sense of family, and the only feeling of security, they have ever experienced.  Many come from broken homes in economically-destitute communities.  Gang life is the closest thing to a real family many of the children who are recruited to join various gangs have ever known.  The reason for this diversion is because of the aforementioned passage that is applicable to the question of why Johnny does not want to see his mother when he is in the hospital.  The pertinent passage, as narrated by Ponyboy, is as follows:

“His (Johnny’s ) father was always beating him up, and his mother ignored him, except when she was hacked off at something, and then you could hear her yelling at him clear down at our house. I think he hated that worse than getting whipped. He would have run away a million times if we hadn't been there. If it hadn't been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are.”

Appearing in the story subsequent to this observation about Johnny’s parent -- "It ain't fair!" I cried passionately. "It ain't fair that we have all the rough breaks!"  I didn't know exactly what I meant, but I was thinking about Johnny's father being a drunk and his mother a selfish slob . . .” – it is clear that Johnny’s family is dysfunctional and that he has been the regular target of physical and emotional abuse.  That he would not view a visit by his mother as a positive development, then, is not surprising.  The emotional bonds between a mother and her son are often among the strongest in a family.  That Johnny responds to the nurse’s announcement that his mother has come to the hospital to see him by stating "She's probably come to tell me about all the trouble I'm causing her and about how glad her and the old man'll be when I'm dead. Well, tell her to leave me alone” is, under the circumstances, entirely understandable.

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