The Outsiders: Character Examination- Johnny Cade

             In The Outsiders, a fictional novel about fights and gangs, the author SE Hinton reveals lessons of life through Johnny Cade, an innocent boy in the middle of a hateful, hostile environment. Johnny is often described as an innocent puppy, but by the end of his life, he comes out of his shell due to certain events that take place around him. Throughout Johnny’s life he reveals three strong aspects that are part of his personality; he is timid, good-hearted, and a follower.
             Johnny Cade is a prime example of a timid gangster. He is one who follows everyone else, especially the ones he looks up to. Ponyboy could describe Johnny using examples of his actions in the beginning of the novel. Yet for the sake of brevity, he sums everything up, claiming, “Johnny Cade was last and least. If you can picture a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers, you’ll have Johnny… He (always) has a nervous, suspicious look in his eyes… he is the gang’s pet, everyone’s kid brother”(Hinton 13-14). This example alone reveals Johnny’s quiet, timid personality. Another part of Johnny’s being timid is his nervousness. Due to Johnny’s parents being so cruel to him, and since he is very small, Johnny was always attempting to watch his back. While at a drive in movie with Ponyboy, “A strong hand came down on Johnny’s shoulder and another on mine and a deep voice said, ‘Okay greasers, you’ve had it’…I looked at Johnny, his eyes were shut and he was white as a ghost. His breath was coming in smothered gasps. Two-bit knew better than to scare Johnny like that. I guess he’d forgotten”(Hinton 27).
             Another of Johnny’s important aspects is that he is very good-hearted. One of the most prevalent examples of this is when Johnny and Ponyboy show bravery by risking their lives in the church. “I slammed a big rock through a window and pulled myself in… I hadn’t realized

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The Outsiders: Character Examination- Johnny Cade. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:48, January 16, 2017, from