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Heroism in the Book The Outsiders

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Hero. This word is mentioned a lot, but what makes a person a hero? Is being a hero only saving the world from villains trying to enslave the humans, or can it be a small act of kindness? Could it be both? Yes, a hero is someone who is brave, courageous and helps others in need. In the book The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally can be described as heroes because they are not afraid to step up, and help people. Ponyboy is a hero because he rescued people and befriended a soc. Similarly Johnny is a hero because he used his heroic qualities to help people. Finally Dally is a hero because of his kind and heroic actions towards Johnny. All three of these Greasers, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally show that heroism is not only a matter of saving the world, but it is also a matter of doing something for someone else.

Ponyboy is considered a hero because he is courageous and not afraid to rescue and help people in their times of need. A main reason why Ponyboy is a hero is that when school children are stuck in a fire Ponyboy ran in to rescue them. Ponyboy yells to the teacher, “I’ll get them, don’t worry… I’ll get them,” and immediately rushes into the burning building to rescue the children. This quote shows the true nature of Ponyboy because he is concerned for a group of children trapped in a burning church. He was so worried that he goes in to the burning church with disregard for his safety and saves the kids. What he did when the church was burning meats the definition of a hero perfectly, he was courageous, saved people who needed his help, and was even called a hero by the newspaper. Another way that Ponyboy is a hero is that when Randy, a soc comes over and talks to Ponyboy, Ponyboy listens and talks to Randy about Randy’s problems. Randy then goes on to say, “Thanks kid.” This is a small gesture of kindness shown by Ponyboy, yet it is an act of heroism too. People do not have to save the world to be a hero, a small act of kindness still can take a courageous gesture like overcoming the differences between two people like Ponyboy and Randy did. Heroism in its own simple but pleasant way being kind to others is also heroic. Ponyboy is a hero because no mater how big or small the act of heroism he committed was, it saved, and helped people.

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Jonny, like Ponyboy, is a hero in his own unique way. Johnny is a great example of heroism because he shows that everybody has heroic qualities of bravery courageousness and helpfulness inside of them and all it takes is an event to bring the qualities out. One important example is that during the chapter when the church is on fire Johnny not only saves school children but saves Ponyboy by pushing Ponyboy out of the church leaving him self in great danger of being crushed by the building’s falling timbers. Ponyboy describes it like this; “Johnny shoved me backwards towards the window… get out.” This shows Johnny’s bravery and heroism because the building was collapsing and about to crush him. Another act of heroism that Johnny commits is that he stands up for two girls who were being bullied by Dally. Here is the section that Johnny stops Dally from bulling the girls.

“Leave her alone, Dally.””Huh” Dally was taken off guard. He stared at Johnny in disbelief. Johnny couldn’t even say “Boo” to a goose. Johnny gulped and got a little pale, but he said, “You heard me. Leave here alone.”

This part in the story was an exciting and surprising part, were Johnny stood up to Dally whom he admires. Ponyboy puts it this way, “Johnny worships the ground that Dally steps on.” and yet Johnny stood up to Dally to protect two girls. In doing so he earned new friends and gained respect. Both of these are act of heroism because Johnny protects two girls from being bullied by Dally, and is also courageous because Jonny admires Dally and Dally could have beat Johnny up for saying what he did. Instead Dally stormed off in a different direction and didn’t bully the girls anymore. Cherry, one of the girls that Johnny rescued said, “Thank you, he was starting to scare me.” This again shows that Johnny did the right thing, in being brave and courageous, and standing up to Dally. Overall Johnny is a hero because no mater how small or big the deed he committed was, Johnny saved and rescued people. This shows that anyone can be a hero, even a quiet, and reserved kid like him.

Surprisingly, even Dally is a hero. Even though he has done some really bad things, he still has good inside of him. Dally is a great example of how no matter what your background is you can still commit an act of heroism. The best example is when during the fire in the church, a falling timber hits Johnny and Dally runs in to save him. One of the teachers of the kids that Ponyboy and Jonny saved, describes Dally’s action like this. “He burned one arm pretty badly… trying to drag the other kid out the window.” This shows that Dally is a hero because he runs into the collapsing building, without a second thought, and risks his life to drag Johnny out. This is something very special because Dally a criminal who has had many run-ins with the law, yet when given the choice he become a hero by rescuing Johnny . This is definitely an act of heroism because he is saving a life, which is brave, and courageous. Another act heroism that Dally commits is that when Johnny is dying Dally is so worried and concerned for him, that when the doctor doesn’t let him see Johnny, Dally pulls out a switchblade and says, “We gotta see him… We’re gonna see him.” This may seem unimportant, but this small act of heroism, of making sure that they are able to comforts the dying Johnny is very moving, and special. It is tough to know that you are dying, and when Dally and Ponyboy comfort him it allows Johnny to go peacefully and happily, which is especially heroic because it take a big act of courage to see a friend pass on. Both of the times that Dally acts like a hero he shows that anyone can be a hero no matter who you are or where you came from.

A hero is someone who is courageous with noble qualities that allow him to be admired by his peer and other people. In the book The Outsiders by S.E Hinton three boys Ponyboy, Johnny and Dally are all greasers, and have had run-ins with the law. But then during the book they commit heroic acts, and the biggest one was when Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally saved children and one another that were trapped in a building that was on fire. S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders shows that everyone has heroic qualities and all it takes is a dramatic event such as saving someone or an event as small as making peace between you and some one else to expose the heroic qualities of bravery and courageousness.

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