Dallas Winston: A vulnerable teenager or just a hoodlum?
The Outsiders by S.E Hinton is a novel about a boy called Ponyboy who is involved in a rivalry between two gangs, the Greasers and the Socs. The Socs live in the West side of town; they look clean, have lots of money and drive blue Mustangs. The greasers live in the east side of town; they wear hair oil, t-shirts and jeans, and don’t have much money. Ponyboy is part of the Greasers, along with his two brothers Darry and Sodapop, his closest friend Johnny Cade, Two-Bit, Steve and Dallas Winston, the toughest of the gang... or at least that is what Ponyboy thinks about him in the beginning of the novel in chapter one “He was tougher than the rest of us- tougher, colder, and meaner.” In the beginning of chapter one the author also lets us know that “Dally had spent three years on the wild side of New York and had been arrested at the age of ten”. So at first impression Dally Winston appears to be a reckless hoodlum, he’s angry, he’s violent, he’s wild. But the author also gives us some hints that show another part of Dally, a more sensitive caring side. So is Dally Winston a vulnerable youth or just a hoodlum? I Ponyboy, Darry and Sodapop are part of the greasers, who they like to look as their family since their parents passed away in an accident. The greaser-soc rivalry mainly revolves around the economic status of both gangs. Socs hate greasers because they are rich and greasers are poor; greasers hate socs because they are poor and socs are rich, simple. After some events Ponyboy and Johnny find themselves in a life threatening situation where they are jumped by some socs at night in an empty parking lot; in the suspense of the moment Johnny kills one of the socs (called Bob) who was about to drown Ponyboy to death. Ponyboy and Johnny decide that Dallas Winston was the correct person to ask help to since he had a lot of experience in the area. Dallas tells them to take a train to Windrixville and hide in...
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