The Outsiders Characters

Discover the characters inside S. E. Hinton’s novel, ‘The Outsiders.’

The author brought out many personalities to capture the mood and characters of the teenagers in her era. Here are some of them.

The Outsiders Characters


Ponyboy Curtis

Ponyboy is the protagonist of The Outsiders, who shares his thoughts and feelings directly with us, the readers. He is the youngest Curtis brother at 14 years old and greaser and also one of the youngest characters in the novel. Ponyboy is academically talented, intelligent, and sensitive and physically resembles his brother Sodapop. Ponyboy possesses certain un-greaserlike characteristics. For instance, he likes to go to the movies by himself, does well in school, and appreciates sunsets.  

Ponyboy is perceptive and wonders whether fighting is something to enjoy even though he accepts the conflict between the Greasers and the Socs for what it is. He is poetic, insightful, looks for signs of a person’s true character beyond social status, and also criticizes the unfairness of being low-income. Over the course of the novel, he grew up quickly, but he had a breakdown when he couldn’t accept the death of his friends – Johnny and Dally. 

Darry Curtis

Darrel, popularly referred to as Darry in the book, is the oldest of the Curtis brothers. He is 20, hardworking, mature beyond his years and rarely shows his feelings. After their parent’s death in a car accident, Darry passed up a college scholarship so he can take care of his younger brothers. Darry has high expectations for Ponyboy, and Ponyboy’s occasional failure to meet those expectations causes tension between the brothers. Later in the novel, Darry learns how to show Ponyboy that he cares about him.

He expresses his love for Ponyboy by being very strict and serious, which Ponyboy took as a sign that Darry doesn’t love him. Darry is of the belief Ponyboy has the ability to do more with his life than either he or Sodapop. This makes him get angry when Ponyboy stays out late and lets his grades fall.

Johnny Cade

Johnny is 16, the second youngest of the greasers, beloved by the entire gang and a close friend to Ponyboy. He rarely spends his time at home as he was neglected and abused at home. He takes the greasers as his true family, and they regard him as a little brother. Most of the things that happened in Johnny’s life motivates Ponyboy to write about his experiences and to pursue a better path in his life.

Johnny is the Greaser gang’s pet, and he’s the one who keeps the gang together. Being the least assumed member of the gang, he has a fearful look in his eye. He starts carrying a knife on him at all times after Bob beats him up. He admires Dally and the Southern gentlemen in Gone with the Wind a lot, and he is a deep thinker with his insight into Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” His last wish for Ponyboy is to fight less and rather focus more on the beauty in the world.

Dallas Winston

Popularly known as Dallas, he is a tough, hardened greaser. He grew up on the streets of New York and learned early how to fend for himself. He is a risk-taker with a long criminal record, yet he is also a loyal and compassionate friend. He sees some potential in Johnny that he himself has lost.

A transplant from New York City, Dallas is the toughest member of the Greaser gang. He gets into the most fights and steals the most things, yet he cares a lot about Johnny despite his violent nature. When Johnny dies, Dallas feels anguished with grief when Johnny dies and therefore provokes the police into shooting him.

Cherry Valance

Cherry is open-minded, a Soc, sensitive, courageous and Bob’s girlfriend. She befriends Ponyboy in the novel and helps him to see that some Socs are nice people, too. She shares many things in common with Ponyboy, such as enjoying sunsets and reading a lot.  Cherry became a liaison between the two gangs after Bob’s death. She always maintains that, despite the superficial differences between them, the Socs and greasers see the same sunset. She spies on the Socs when Johnny and Ponyboy leave town.

Bob Sheldon

Bob is the leader of the Socs and Cherry’s boyfriend. He is an aggressive, tenacious guy who gets killed when he and his friends attack Johnny and Ponyboy. Over the course of the novel, Ponyboy learns that Bob had his own troubles and difficulties growing up.

Bob is a handsome Soc who has it all and had once badly beaten Johnny up. Johnny killed him when he was drowning Ponyboy in the park fountain. Cherry and Randy later reveal that Bob was a kinder person when he was sober.

Sodapop Curtis

Sodapop is the middle Curtis brother; he is handsome and fun-loving. Sodapop is a high school dropout who enjoys working with cars and works at a gas station. He is a kind and supportive sibling to his two brothers, often being in the middle of their fights.

Randy Adderson

Randy is Bob’s best friend and Marcia’s boyfriend. Randy is a Soc who also attacks Ponyboy and Johnny. After Bob’s death, Randy reflects on life, becomes friends with Ponyboy, and works to end the violence between the Socs and greasers. Later in the novel, Randy decides that the conflict between the Socs and Greasers isn’t worth it and visits Ponyboy a few times to express his thoughts about Johnny and Bob.

Two-Bit Mathews

Two-Bit is the oldest of the greaser gang. Two-Bit is sharp, funny, and is always telling jokes.

Marcia

Cherry’s best friend and Randy’s girlfriend.

Sandy

Sandy is a greaser girl whom Sodapop loves. However, she breaks Soda’s heart when she moves to Florida to have a baby that isn’t his and refuses his offer of marriage.

Buck Merril

Buck is Dally’s friend and rodeo partner. He is a strong guy known for throwing wild parties.

Tim Shepard

Tim is the leader of the Shepard gang, another gang in the city that is friendly to the greasers but tougher than them. Tim is a good friend of Dally.

Mr Syme

Ponyboy’s English teacher gives him a second chance to improve his grades. He asked him to write an essay to get his grades up, and the essay turned into the novel itself.

Jerry Wood

Jerry is an elementary school teacher whose students are saved by Johnny and Ponyboy in the church fire. He follows Ponyboy to the hospital and encourages Ponyboy to see himself as a hero.

Mrs O’Briant

Mrs O’Briant is an elementary school teacher whose students are saved by Johnny and Ponyboy in the church fire.

FAQs

Who is the only person who can tease Darry?

Sodapop Curtis, the middle brother in the Curtis family, is the only person that can do that. He loves his brothers and always tries to calm them when they are quarrelling. He sticks up for Ponyboy when Darry was lecturing him because he knows that he is the only person who can tease Darry and get away with it.

Did Sodapop get Sandy pregnant?

Sandy is Sodapop Curtis’ girlfriend who appears in the novel only when the boys mention her.  According to the book, she got pregnant with another man’s child and moved to Florida to live with her grandmother. This is because her grandparents didn’t want her to marry Sodapop, and this breaks his heart.

Who kills Dally?

The police officers kill Dally. After Johnny, the only person he cares about dies in the hospital, Dally becomes very upset. He runs away from Ponyboy and robs a grocery store, and the policemen chase him to the empty lot. Dally threatens the police with his unloaded gun, who shoots him in self-defence.

Why did Johnny not see his mother?

Johnny refuses to see his mother at the hospital because he has endured verbal abuse from her in the past, she doesn’t care about him, and he does not want to go out with her, yelling at him. According to him, the gang is the only family he needs.

Did Ponyboy faint when Johnny died?

No, he faints much later. After Johnny dies and Dally is shot dead by the police, Ponyboy faints. This is due to the extraordinary amount of emotional and physical trauma to which he has been subjected in a brief period of time. His friends are dead, and he carries wounds from both the church fire and the rumble.

About Ugo Juliet
Ugo Juliet is a passionate lover of books. For over 10 years, she has written books and articles for various organizations. She continues with her passion for literature as an expert analyst on Book Analysis.
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