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Dally Winston: a Complex Character with Strong Beliefs and Values

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Words: 812 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 812|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

In S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders, Dallas Winston, also known as Dally, plays a significant role as a complex character with his own set of beliefs and values. Throughout the text, Dally's actions and attitudes provide insight into his worldview. This essay will explore the beliefs and values of Dallas Winston as portrayed in the novel, highlighting his loyalty, survival instinct, and disdain for societal norms. By analyzing the implications of these beliefs and values, it becomes evident that Dally is a multifaceted character who ultimately seeks connection and purpose in a world that has failed him.

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One of the key beliefs that defines Dallas Winston is his unwavering loyalty to his gang, the Greasers. Despite his tough exterior and reckless behavior, Dally remains fiercely committed to the people he considers his family. This can be seen when he risks his own life to save Johnny Cade from the burning church. As Hinton writes, "Dally plunged in a door and came out with two bundles. He shoved one of them into my arms. 'Get out!'" (Hinton 92). This act of selflessness demonstrates Dally's loyalty and willingness to protect those he cares about, even at great personal risk.

Dally's loyalty is not limited to his gang members; he also exhibits it towards his close friend, Johnny. When Johnny kills Bob in self-defense, Dally helps them escape and provides them with guidance. Despite his rough exterior, Dally's actions reveal his deep concern for Johnny's safety and well-being. This loyalty is a testament to Dally's belief in the importance of standing by those he considers family, regardless of the circumstances.

Another significant belief that shapes Dally's character is his strong survival instinct. Growing up in poverty and facing numerous hardships, Dally has learned to rely on his instincts in order to survive. He constantly lives on the edge, ready to fight or flee at a moment's notice. This can be seen when he warns Ponyboy about the dangers they face in their neighborhood: "You get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you" (Hinton 59).

Dally's survival instinct is not limited to physical danger; it also influences his emotional responses. He builds emotional walls to protect himself from getting hurt, often resorting to cynicism and detachment. This can be observed in his interactions with others, particularly when he mocks the Greasers' dreams and aspirations. Dally's survival instinct drives him to detach himself emotionally, as he believes that vulnerability is a weakness that can be exploited.

Dallas Winston's beliefs and values are further exemplified by his disdain for societal norms. He refuses to conform to the expectations set by society and rebels against authority figures. Dally rejects the idea of a predetermined path in life, instead choosing to live in the moment and on his own terms. This is evident when he dismisses Ponyboy's plans for the future, stating, "You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want. There's still lots of good in the world" (Hinton 178).

Dally's rejection of societal norms is also reflected in his disregard for the law. He is frequently involved in criminal activities, such as theft and assault. While his actions may be seen as immoral, it can be argued that Dally's disdain for societal norms stems from a deep-rooted sense of injustice. He has witnessed the flaws and inequalities of the system, and his rebellious nature is a response to the unfairness he sees in the world.

The beliefs and values of Dallas Winston have significant implications for his character development and the overall themes of the novel. Dally's loyalty, survival instinct, and disdain for societal norms contribute to his complexity as a character and shed light on the harsh realities of the Greasers' lives.

By examining Dally's beliefs and values, it becomes evident that he is not simply a delinquent or troublemaker, but rather a product of his environment and experiences. His loyalty to his gang and his survival instinct are driven by a need for connection and the desire to overcome the challenges of his circumstances. Dally's disdain for societal norms can be seen as a response to the injustices he has faced, highlighting the flaws of the society in which he lives.

In conclusion, Dallas Winston is a character with strong beliefs and values that shape his actions and attitudes throughout The Outsiders. His loyalty, survival instinct, and disdain for societal norms provide insight into his complex character and the harsh realities of his world. By analyzing the implications of these beliefs and values, it becomes evident that Dally is a multifaceted character who seeks connection and purpose in a society that has failed him. Through Dally's experiences, Hinton invites readers to question societal norms, examine the impact of environment on individual choices, and consider the importance of loyalty in the face of adversity.

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Bibliography

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. Penguin Books, 1967.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Dally Winston: A Complex Character with Strong Beliefs and Values. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dally-winston-a-complex-character-with-strong-beliefs-and-values/
“Dally Winston: A Complex Character with Strong Beliefs and Values.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dally-winston-a-complex-character-with-strong-beliefs-and-values/
Dally Winston: A Complex Character with Strong Beliefs and Values. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dally-winston-a-complex-character-with-strong-beliefs-and-values/> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Dally Winston: A Complex Character with Strong Beliefs and Values [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/dally-winston-a-complex-character-with-strong-beliefs-and-values/
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