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
opportunity. Dally frequently looks for problems with the police and other people. In
fact, even his friends try hard to stay on his good side. Ponyboy says of Dallas, “One
time, in a dime store, a guy told him to move over at the candy counter. Dally had turned
around and belted him so hard it knocked a tooth loose. A complete stranger, too” (24).
Dallas has a short fuse, and he is not afraid to tangle with anyone. He often does his best
to find ways to break laws, and Dally himself says, “‘Don’t you know a rumble ain’t a
rumble unless I’m in it’” (144)? Clearly, Dallas enjoys trouble. Likewise, Bob, a
member of the Socs, is another person who enjoys fights, usually with greasers. Bob and
his friends beat Johnny nearly to death in the vacant lot just because Johnny is a greaser.
His rings cut up Johnny’s face pretty badly, leaving a scar Johnny will carry for the rest
of his life. Pony says of Bob, “I knew he liked to pick fights, [and] had the usual Soc
belief that living on the We...
... middle of paper ...
...l The Outsiders, the two characters Dally Winston and Bob
Sheldon, although similar in some significant ways, also are quite different. Dally
Winston and Bob Sheldon come from dissimilar circumstances, and this may help
explain why they have such diverse personalities. Living in poverty his entire life has
made Dally a mean and angry young man. Conversely, living in the lap of luxury, Bob
has no reason to be angry at the world. His disdain for greasers does not extend to his
friends who know him as a sweet and friendly person. However, despite the stark
differences in their living conditions and personalities, these characters do have things in
common. Both Dally and Bob have parents who neglect them in their own way and,
perhaps because of this, both enjoy engaging in fights. They are two different characters
who share some vastly similar problems.
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