In “The Outsiders” why does Johnny think Dally is a hero?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Johnny considers Dally a hero in "The Outsiders" because Dally is a tough rebel who has been to jail several times since the age of ten. On the other hand, Johnny is quiet and timid, and he cares about everyone else. Johnny sees Dally as a role model because Dally doesn't seem to care about anything or anyone except himself. However, Dally's actions, such as giving a gun to two fourteen-year-old boys who had never used one before, raise questions about whether he truly deserves the title of hero.
Detailed answer:

Johnny in "The Outsiders" sees Dally as a hero because he sees a kind of bravery in Dally that he admires. While Dally has a rough exterior and has been in trouble with the law multiple times, Johnny sees something deeper in him. For Johnny, Dally's willingness to stand up for his beliefs and face the consequences is something to be respected, even if he doesn't always agree with the choices Dally makes. Johnny sees Dally as someone who is unafraid of the consequences of his actions and who is true to himself, even when that means going against society's expectations.

Despite this admiration, it's important to note that Dally is not a true hero in the traditional sense. He is not a role model to be emulated, and he often makes choices that are harmful to others. Dally's tough exterior often masks deep-seated pain and trauma, and his actions can be misguided as a result. For example, when Dally gives Johnny and Ponyboy a gun, he puts them in harm's way and sets them up for trouble with the law. Additionally, when Dally dies later in the novel, it is a tragic event that underscores the consequences of a life lived recklessly.

Overall, the relationship between Johnny and Dally in "The Outsiders" is a complicated one, with both admiration and criticism mixed in. While Johnny sees bravery and honor in Dally's actions, he is also aware of the danger that comes with living life on the edge, and ultimately learns the importance of making choices that prioritize the well-being of himself and those around him.

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