The Outsiders Essay

When families break down friends are important. In the novel “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton this message is shown in many ways. Certain characters have been abandoned or disowned by their families, some characters have family members that have passed away and some don’t have any at all. Pony Boy Curtis, Johnny Cade and Dallas Winston all have experienced family breakdowns and each and every one of them has a loyal group of friends to fall back on. This shows why Friends are so important.

Family isn’t who you’re related to, but who cares and is there for you when you need them.

Pony Boy Curtis is the main character in “The Outsiders” novel and experiences two family breakdowns. One shortly before the novel was set and the other during the book. When Pony boy lost his parents before the book, he started to depend more on friends than he ever did but he still had his brothers.

When Pony Boy ran away (Pg..) he had no family by his side, the only person he had to depend on was his best friend, Johnny. Ponyboy left his family and ran away with Johnny after he stabbed the Soc, without his friend he wouldn’t have anyone to depend on. Ponyboy didn’t ditch his friend when times looked tough, even though Ponyboy didn’t do anything he risked his future and possibly life to stand by his friend. With Johnny’s family broken down all he could count on was Pony Boy

Johnny family is also broken down. Beaten by his father and ignored by his mother, his family may not care for him much anymore but his friends always will. Johnny is also referred to as “the gangs kid brother”, Johnny only stays in town because of the gang. When Johnny stabbed the Soc at the park, the night he ran away with Pony Boy, Pony didn’t abandon him; he ran away with him and helped him escape trouble by being by his side. Without his friend Pony, Johnny wouldn’t have run away and he would have been charged for murder. Johnny’s family wouldn’t have helped him at a time like that but his best friend wouldn’t leave him. This is why friends are important when family isn’t there. Unfortunately, Dallas Winston’s family isn’t there for him either that’s why he has such a close bond to all his friends.

According to Dallas Winston his family “doesn’t care if he even come home at night.” His family has obviously broken down not in a way that is permanent but in a way that is hard and hurtful. That is why he has such a strong bond with his friends. For example, when Johnny died, Dallas lost control. He cared so much for him that he couldn’t control his emotions and broke down. From the way his family is portrayed in the novel, it appears that Johnny is like his brother, like family and so he cannot cope when he dies because he must feel like he has nobody now. It is obvious that Dallas is closer with his friends than his family and this is why friends are important.

To conclude, nearly everyone in the novel “The Outsiders” has experienced family breakdowns and all of them are there to pick each other up and support one another. The novel suggests that when your family is not there the only people you can turn to are your closest and most trusted friends.

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