Hinton develops the theme of violence in The Outsiders through multiple characters, including Dally Winston. In the very beginning when Ponyboy gives his initial characterization of Dally, he includes the anecdote of how Dally did not appreciate being talked down to:
"One time in a dime store, a guy told him to move over at the candy counter. Dally turned around and belted him so hard it knocked a tooth loose" (24).
Dally's overreaction at the dime store reinforces his carefully crafted 'mean guy' hood persona. Even Cherry and Marcia had heard of Dally's reputation and described him as being "hard as nails and twice as tough" (26). Dally cultivates this image, but also buys into the idea of solving his problems through violence. He firmly believes that winning the rumble will help Johnny feel better when Johnny is in the hospital. Another example of Dally's violent nature are the multiple times he threatens people, like when he pulls out Two-Bit's switchblade on the doctor at the hospital to gain admittance to Johnny's room.