Essay 4 - Harris 1 Jake Harris May 3 2016 Roundness Found...

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Harris 1 Jake Harris May 3, 2016 Roundness Found Through Comparison “Both Ponyboy [Curtis] and Johnny [Cade], the outsiders, are from a neighborhood where youth live by their own rules” (Morgan 59). Ponyboy and Johnny are the two main characters in the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Though very different, they share qualities that are sprinkled throughout the whole novel. A round character is a complex character that develops throughout the story, as a result of problems that arise during the story. Comparing Ponyboy and Johnny’s home lives, states of loneliness, and caring natures shows they have complex problems that affect their behavior; therefore, Johnny and Ponyboy are round characters. Throughout the first half of the novel, Ponyboy gives harsh descriptions of his life at home. None of the complaints are about Sodapop, the middle child. All of the negative feelings he has toward home involves the eldest brother, Darry. Ponyboy’s descriptions explain two concepts about his home: the situation at home and why it is a problem. Early in the novel, Ponyboy explains, “Since Mom and Dad were killed in an auto wreck, the three of us [Ponyboy, Sodapop, and Darry] get to stay together only as long as we behave” (Hinton 3). This provides an explanation as to why Ponyboy is living with his brothers. As Ponyboy sits in the T-Bird with Johnny and Dally, he thinks, “and I loved them [Darry and Sodapop], even if Darry did scare me; but not even Sodapop could take Mom and Dad’s place” (Hinton 88). With this description, Ponyboy, while admitting that he does love Darry, shows how unhealthy his relationship with Darry is. Fear should not accompany love. Along with fearing his eldest brother, Ponyboy’s confession concerning his parents shows that even if things improve at home, they will never be
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Harris 2 like they once were. Ponyboy also fears being thrown into a boys’ home. The three siblings fear that the state may throw Soda and Ponyboy into a boys’ home “heightens [the] tension between Darry and Ponyboy” (Tribunella 92). This tension matures and evolves into a physical altercation between Darry and Ponyboy. It is through this altercation that Ponyboy experiences a small aspect of Johnny’s life at home. Throughout the novel, Ponyboy vividly describes Johnny Cade’s unhealthy home life. Along with Ponyboy’s descriptions, Johnny also weighs in on his experiences at home. In doing so, both provide descriptions that explain the situation of Johnny’s home and why it is a problem. Ponyboy’s clear description, “His father was always beating him up, and his mother ignored him,” provides an image into the painful experiences Johnny deals with on a regular basis (Hinton 12). Intensifying that image, Ponyboy states, “I had seen Johnny take a whipping by a two-by-four from his old man and never let out a whimper” (Hinton 33). This intensifies the painful image because even through the pain he suffered from his parents, Johnny did not show them any emotion, because he knew it would not be reciprocated. He could not confide in his
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