The Wrong Thing for the Wrong Reasons in Tom Sawyer and The Outsiders

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"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." -Theodore Roosevelt. For everything you do in your life your going to have to make a decision. Sometimes it is hard to do what is right, and people often get caught up in the web of morals. Like Theodore Roosevelt said, it's best to do the right thing, but what about when what is good and what is bad all becomes a blur? This is when people get confused and then the wrong thing becomes right in their mind. This is an idea that appears in The Outsiders and Tom Sawyer quite often throughout the main characters progression through Adolescence. Even though a key concept in Tom Sawyer is how individuals often do the wrong thing for the right reason, this idea is better exemplified in The Outsiders when Ponyboy and Johnny run from the law, Darry hits Ponyboy as punishment, and Cherry spies on the Socs for the Greasers.

One example of people doing the wrong thing for the right reasons in The Outsiders is when Cherry Valance spies on the Socs for the Greasers. After Johnny kills Bob, Cherry feels that it was all her fault after she spent the night talking with Ponyboy, so she offers to spy on the Socs for the greasers as compensation. Cherry does this for the right reasons and out of the goodness of her heart, however spying is never the moral thing to do. "She said she felt the whole thing was her fault, which it is, and that she'd keep up with what was comin' off with the Socs in the rumble and would testify that the Socs were drunk and looking for a fight and that you fought back in self defense" - Dally (pg.76) Cherry felt so bad for what she had done she betrayed the peopl...

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...what Tom and Huck did was wrong because Muff Potter had to suffer from their decisions, Ponyboy and Johnny's situation was different because they acted in self defense and Ponyboy ran away for his friend.

In the end, all of the decisions in the outsiders were made with good intentions in mind. Ponyboy ran away from the police in order to protect his best friend Johnny, Darry hit Ponyboy because he was trying to teach him a lesson, and Cherry felt bad for what she had done so she helped out the greasers by spying on the Socs. The situations in Tom Sawyer were choices itself made were wrong but then they wear also made for the wrong reasons. Like Roosevelt said: the best thing you can do is the right thing, but when you do not do the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing. And sometimes the wrong thing isn't so bad if you do it for the right reasons.
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