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Johnny Cade's personality traits in The Outsiders

Summary:

Johnny Cade is depicted as sensitive, loyal, and brave. Despite his rough home life and the constant fear of being hurt, he remains caring and protective, especially towards his friends in the gang. His bravery is evident when he risks his life to save children from a burning church.

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What are Johnny Cade's psychological traits in The Outsiders?

Johnny is delicate and jumpy, but he is also thoughtful.  He worries about being jumped by the Socs, but he also worries about living a good life.

Johnny Cade is one of Ponyboy’s friends.  He is in his late teens, but he is small and wiry.

I had never been jumped, but I had seen Johnny after four Socs got hold of him, and it wasn't pretty. Johnny was scared of his own shadow after that. (ch 1, p. 4)

Johnny also “had it awful rough at home” (p. 4).  His father was abusive.  Johnny’s family was mainly the gang of boys.

When Johnny accidentally kills a Soc in a rumble in the park, he and Johnny have to go on the run.  While hiding in the church with Johnny, Ponyboy sees another side of him.  He realizes Johnny is smarter, gentler, and more thoughtful than he previously thought.

It amazed me how Johnny could get more meaning out of some of the stuff in there than I could-I was supposed to be the deep one. (ch 5, p. 75)

Johnny remembers that Ponyboy wanted to read Gone with the Wind, and he brings the book with him to kill time.  He is also impressed with the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” a poem about youth not lasting that really means something to him.  When he dies, he alludes to the poem in telling Ponyboy to “stay gold,” meaning stay young and innocent.

Johnny is one of the key characters in the book because he drives the plot.  It is his killing Bob that causes Ponyboy to have to run.  Yet he is also a key element to the theme, because through him we see the destructive cycle of class.

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When is Johnny Cade's personality most evident in The Outsiders?

I think that there are many facets to Johnny, and that we see how given the right opportunity he could be so much more than his life has given him the opportunity to be. I think that when he saves the children from the fire he is at his most alive. It is an adventure where he is the hero, instead of being the peretual victim which has been his past. This is certainly the event which I think Johnny would like to be remembered for, and it is perhaps where we begin to understand Dallas Winston's deep appreciation and admiration for Johnny stems from.

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When is Johnny Cade's personality most evident in The Outsiders?

I agree with number 3.  When Johnny and Ponyboy are on the run, they learn more about each other.  I like their reaction to the book and the poem.  I think it shows that Johnny wants to change.  He is very sensitive, and he's had a hard life.  We feel for him in this moment.

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When is Johnny Cade's personality most evident in The Outsiders?

For me, it is when he and Ponyboy are hiding out in the church.  We particularly see Johnny's personality when they are reading from Gone With the Wind.  This is not at all what you would expect a person like him to enjoy.  We learn from that about his sensitive personality and his romantic/idealistic streak.

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When is Johnny Cade's personality most evident in The Outsiders?

For me, the personality of Johnny Cade is actually revealed most when Ponyboy reads Johnny's final letter to him at the end of the novel. This might be a rather strange way of answering your question, but let us remember that before this, Johnny is a man who is plagued by a series of demons, as his character shows. The memories of being beaten up by Socs, the relationship he has with his mother and his own insecurities make him a man who "jumps at his own shadow" in the words of Ponyboy. What is really interesting about the final missive he leaves for Ponyboy is the way that we see a Johnny who has, to a large extent, accepted so many of these tensions and is at peace with himself and his imminent death. Note what he says:

The doctor came in a while ago but I knew anyway. I keep getting tireder and tireder. Listen, I don't mind dying now. It's worth it. It's worth saving those kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more to live for.

We see at the end of the novel a Johnny that is able to see his actions and his life in context. He reveals the kind, caring, and loving individual that he always has been throughout the novel, but has been hidden underneath many different kind of masks thanks to his social situation and his experiences.

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List three personality traits of Johnny Cade in The Outsiders.

Johnny Cade is practical; he uses common sense in crisis situations.  After recovering from the initial shock of stabbing the Soc in self-defense, he begins to plan, "We gotta get outa here...We'll need money...a plan...Dally...Dally'll get us outa here" (Chapter 4).  When he is hiding in Windrixville with Ponyboy, it is his idea to have Ponyboy cut and bleach his hair (Chapter 5).  And when he realizes how worried Soda and Darry are about Ponyboy, he decides to turn himself in, reasoning the he "got a good chance of bein' let off easy...(he) ain't got no record with the fuzz and it was self-defense" (Chapter 6).

Johnny is also unselfish.  He overlooks danger to himself to save the children from the burning church (Chapter 6).  He decides to turn himself in when he sees how worried Soda and Darry are about Ponyboy (Chapter 6).  And when he realizes he is going to die, his last thought is for Ponyboy, when he tells him to "Stay gold" (Chapter 9).

Of all the Greasers, Johnny is arguably the most sensitive.  He appreciates literature and poetry, sharing Gone With the Wind and Nothing Gold Can Stay with Ponyboy while they are hiding out (Chapter 5).  He is perceptive enough to recognize the quality of "gold" in Ponyboy, and to realize it is something of rare value (Chapter 9). And Ponyboy himself observes, "Johnny was a good fighter and could play it cool, but he was sensitive and that isn't a good way to be when you're a Greaser" (Chapter 6).

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List three personality traits of Johnny Cade in The Outsiders.

Johnny Cade is the smallest of all the greasers in S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. He is also the youngest of the boys (next to Ponyboy), and because of his size and age, he is a target of the Socs. Johnny was badly beaten prior to the beginning of the novel, and he has taken to carrying a knife for protection. Johnny's home life is a sad one: His father beats him often, and his parents argue all the time, so Johnny spends most of his time with his greaser pals. 

     "I think I like it better when the old man's hittin' me," Johnny sighed. "At least then I know he knows who I am... I stay away all night, and nobody notices... I ain't got nobody." (Chapter 3)

Johnny has dark features, with "big black eyes in a tanned face" and jet-black hair "heavily greased and combed to the side"--longer than the other boys since it "fell in shaggy bangs across the forehead" (Chapter 1). He is nervous by nature, always looking over his shoulder in case another Soc is nearby. Johnny and Pony are best buddies, but Johnny practically hero-worships Dallas Winston, who, like the other greasers, treat Johnny as their pet. The other greasers all love Johnny, in part because of his bad family life and his bad luck with the Socs, and in part because he is a loyal, sensitive boy. 

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What are some character traits of Johnny Cade in The Outsiders?

Johnny Cade is depicted as a vulnerable, quiet member of the Greasers, who comes from an abusive home and is considered the gang's pet. Unlike the other Greasers, Johnny does not enjoy breaking the law and is not a naturally violent individual.

Similar to Ponyboy, Johnny is rather passive and insightful. Although he does not excel in school, Johnny proves that he is intelligent and astute while Ponyboy reads to him at the abandoned church on Jay Mountain. He is also a sympathetic, sensitive boy who genuinely cares about his group of friends.

Johnny is also portrayed as courageous and selfless when he decides to enter the burning church to save a group of trapped children. Following his tragic accident, Johnny displays his introspective, enlightened nature by instructing Dally to stop fighting and encouraging Ponyboy to "Stay gold." In his final letter to Pony, Johnny once again demonstrates his thoughtful nature by encouraging Dally to look at sunsets and reminding Ponyboy to remain positive and never lose his childhood innocence.

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What are some character traits of Johnny Cade in The Outsiders?

For a member of a fairly hardened and violent gang, Johnny Cade is generally quiet and passive.  He is the son of an abusive home; therefore, he doesn't spend much time at home.  His "family" is the Greasers, and the Greasers know this.  They watch over him like a lost puppy or a vulnerable little brother.  

"a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers" 

He tends to be a bit skittish as a result of his beating at the hands of the Socs.  All of the above contribute to him seeing himself as somewhat worthless.  He doesn't outright say that, but it's clear from his actions that he is willing to throw his life on the line for others.  That's not because he's very altruistic.  It's because he thinks his life is worth less than the person next to him.   It's why he runs back to save the kids.  It's probably why he's willing to kill Bob to save Ponyboy.  

Despite all of the negative that I just listed, Johnny is not spineless.  He practically worships the ground that Dally walks on, but he stands up to Dally when he is pestering Cherry and Marcia.  Considering his situation, I'm always surprised at how accurate Johnny's moral compass is.  

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Six character traits for Johnny Cade?

In the first chapter of The Outsiders, Ponyboy describes the members of the gang, including Johnny Cade.  According to Ponyboy, Johnny is

...last and least.  If you can picture a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers, you'll have Johnny...He had a nervous, suspicious look in his eyes, and that beating he got from the Socs didn't help matters.  He was the gang's pet, everyone's kid brother.  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.  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.

Based on this passage, the reader can label Johnny as nervous and suspicious. 

Later in the book, Johnny becomes defensive when he feels that Cherry Valance is judging Dally unfairly.  Because of this, Johnny can be considered to be loyal.  He is also honest; he does not deny that Dally is "tough," but explains that he is also "okay" and "a cool old guy."

When Ponyboy and Johnny go into hiding (after Bob's death), the reader realizes that Johnny is very clever.  It is his idea for himself and Ponyboy to cut their hair so no one is able to identify them. 

Finally, Johnny's decision to help Ponyboy rescue the children from the fire shows that he is very brave.  That characteristic is made even more evident when he risks his own safety to shove Ponyboy toward the church window.

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