Johnny Cade as a Hero in 'The Outsiders'

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 607 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Words: 607|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Table of contents

  1. Johnny Cade Essay Outline
  2. Introduction
    Johnny's Self-Sacrifice
    Johnny's Act of Heroism
    Transformation into a Hero
  3. Johnny Cade Essay Example

Johnny Cade Essay Outline


  • Definition of a hero and introduction to the character Johnny in "The Outsiders"
  • Mention of Johnny's admirable characteristics and the novel's setting

Johnny's Self-Sacrifice

  • Description of Johnny's actions, including killing Bob to save Ponyboy
  • Analysis of how Johnny's self-sacrifice reflects heroism
  • Discussion of the public's perception of Johnny after the incident

Johnny's Act of Heroism

  • Explanation of Johnny's role in saving children from the burning church
  • Details of the incident and Johnny's injuries
  • Impact of Johnny's selflessness on his heroic status

Transformation into a Hero

  • Exploration of Johnny's character development throughout the novel
  • Examination of how Johnny's experiences and encounters shaped him into a hero
  • Reflection on the idea that heroes are made, not born


  • Recap of Johnny's selflessness, caring nature, courage, and admirable qualities
  • Emphasis on the novel's message that anyone can be a hero through extraordinary actions

Johnny Cade Essay Example

A hero is someone who has admirable characteristics such as selflessness, the capacity to care and courage. Johnny depicts these attributes throughout the novel, “The Outsiders”. This story is set at Oklahoma in the 1960’s. Johnny Cade proves the statement, “heroes are not born, they are made”, because of his actions that involved his self- sacrifice in order to ensure the safety of others. Johnny does two actions that enhances his reputation and respect to the public eye. Those whom we call heroes are shaped by their experiences and encounters in life. An individual who earns the admiration of others has the right to call him/ herself a hero.

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An event of great importance during the novel is that Johnny killed Bob in order to save his buddy, Ponyboy from near death. When Bob randy and their soc gang tried to drown Pony because he was chatting with their girlfriends, Cherry and Marcia at the drive in, johnny lost his temper and pulled out his switchblade. Then killed Bob. After Bob’s death, the rest ran off. This expresses that Johnny cares about others more than himself because he murdered a soul for his friend, knowing the consequences. Through this act of courage Johnny is seen as a hero to his friend but the persception of Johnny to the public is a cold hearted murderer. This act was foreshadowed near the beginning of the novel when S. E Hinton writes, ‘he would kill the next person who jumped him’. Due to this event, Johnny erases his flaw of fear to the soc. Although Johnny is seen as a murderer, he challenges the perception of the public by playing a significant role in saving, not one but many children’s lives.

Johnny Cade exemplifies a heroic action by saving many children’s lives from the burning church. Johnny and Ponyboy thought it is them who triggered the fire in church due to a cigarette drop, since they thought it was their doing, they ran off before the ambulance and police men had a chance to hold them back in order to save the children in the burning church, before it was too late. Johnny was at the brink of death but Dally jumped in with one thing on his mind, save Johnny, Dally saved both Johnny and Ponyboy. The three boys were sent to the hospital due to major burns. Johnny died with his last words as, ‘stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold…’ this shows that Johnny has a caring heart that has more room for others than himself. Pony says, ‘Johnny was behind me the whole time’, as he was roaming up the church. This displays that Johnny gained a selfless attitude that is compulsory for a heroic quality, if so then, Johnny is most definite a hero, whether others see him or not. At last, Johnny wins the heart of those around him by being represented by a hero from the newsletters and the news. Now he is seen as a hero rather than a JD (juvenile delinquent).

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Johnny is seen as a courageous hero due to his unique characteristics. Johnny has experienced many encounters that helped shape him into an inspiration hero, he was never born a hero. He was no more or less than an ordinary, low-class greaser who acquired zero potential. Throughout the novel, “The Outsiders”, Johnny portrays these qualities, selfless, caring, courageous and admirable. S. E Hinton wrote this novel in order to inform the readers that anyone can be a hero no matter what background they come from as long as they do the extraordinary. S. E Hinton prove this point by using Johnny as an example.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Johnny Cade As A Hero In ‘The Outsiders’. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“Johnny Cade As A Hero In ‘The Outsiders’.” GradesFixer, 08 Apr. 2022,
Johnny Cade As A Hero In ‘The Outsiders’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
Johnny Cade As A Hero In ‘The Outsiders’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 08 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from:
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