Similarities and Differences of Johnny and Dally in S.E. Hinton´s The Outsiders

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How can two people whose lives are so different have so much in common? How

can a young man growing up with everything he could possibly want have anything in

common with someone who has known only poverty and hardship his entire life? It

seems impossible. However, in S. E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders, there are two such

characters who, despite having enormous differences in their lives, also have significant

similarities. These characters are Dally Winston and Bob Sheldon.

Dally Winston and Bob Sheldon have two very significant similarities. For

example, one way that Dally and Bob are the same is that they both enjoy fighting. Dally

is a tough greaser who does not waste any time creating a problem if he has the
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If his

parents gave him the attention he required, he would not be running with a gang at such a

young age, and he would not have gone to jail. Dally never mentions his mother, and he

only mentions his father once to say, “‘Shoot, my old man don’t give a hang whether I’m

in jail or dead in a car wreck or drunk in the gutter’” (88). Dally makes it very clear that

his parents are not involved in his life. Similarly, Bob Sheldon has parents who,

although they care about him, do not pay him the kind of attention he needs. Bob is a

wild boy who often gets drunk, and when he does, his parents look the other way. They

do not punish him, and let him get away with his misbehavior. His friend Randy states:

“‘He kept trying to make someone say ‘No’ and they never did. They never did. That

was what he wanted. For somebody to tell him “No.’ To have somebody lay down the

law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on’” (116). Like Dally, Bob’s

parents do not show him the attention he really needs, and they do not discipline him.

Therefore, Dally and Bob are alike in the way they start fights, and in the way they have

parents who do not watch over them the way they should.

As much as they are alike, Dally and Bob are also very different from one

another. For example, Dally is one of the poor greasers from the east side of the city, and

Bob is a very rich Soc from the west side

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