Outsiders Johnny Character Analysis
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton presents Johnny as a dynamic character that
changes from a frightened boy, into a bold young man, and finally becomes a thoughtful
When Johnny is introduced in the beginning he is frightened by almost anything.
After being brutally beaten by a group of socs Johnny could be easily put into shock by
the tiniest things, “Then I looked at Johnny, his eyes were shut and he was as white as
a ghost” (Hinton 26). In this paragraph, Two-Bit scares Johnny by acting like a Soc. This
shows how little could frighten johnny. Even the things that might spook us a little scare
Johnny a lot more. Still, towards the beginning of the novel, Ponyboy says, “Johnny
couldn’t say boo to a ghost” (24). This also shows that Johnny couldn’t even scare
something else that couldn’t do anything to him. So even the smallest things that we
wouldn’t even think about could scare Johnny.
As the reader starts to get to the middle of the novel Johnny starts to become a
braver young man. While at the movies Johnny stands up to his role model, Dallas
Winston or Dally, and said, “ Leave her alone Dally” (24), which coming from a once
very timid boy is a lot, especially since Dally is a Greaser from the bad side of New York
and Johnny’s role model. When his mother enters the hospital asking to see Johnny, he
firmly states, “I don’t want to see her” (122). Instead of letting his mother, who neglects
him and lets his father abuse him, see him in the hospital he boldly states that he does
not want to see her. Seeing how Johnny went from an easily frightened boy to a bold
young man this definitely proves my thesis.
Towards the end of the novel when Johnny is in the hospital, he tells
Ponyboy,”Stay Gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.-useless...fighting’s no good” (148). After he
realizes he might die he becomes more thoughtful and aware and tells Ponyboy to keep
on being good. After learning that he will most likely die he says to Ponyboy, “I don’t
want to die no. It ain’t long enough. Sixteen years ain’t long enough” (121). In the
beginning, Johnny talks about suicide because of what the Socs and his parents do to
him, but now that he is dying he realizes he wants more time. In the end, Johnny has
become very thoughtful in the last moments of his life.
Readers can learn from Johnny that life is just jumping through hoops if one
doesn’t make it through just get up and try again.