Novel: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Character: Johnny Cade
The world that Johnny Cade lives in has a negative impact on Johnny’s life and eventually results in the death of this young boy.
Johnny Cade is fifteen years old and is a member of the Greasers, a gang who live on the East side of town and are in constant fear of their enemies from the Westside, the Socs.
The world that Johnny lives in is very unfair as he is judged based on how much money he and his family have. Because he is poor, he is picked on by the Socs and a key moment that negatively affects Johnny is when the Socs jump him as he walks alone in town. He also would not have been picked on if the world was not divided based on wealth. We know Johnny is a soft, caring individual, but the Socs only see him a dirty greaser and continue to beat him up.
This event impacts on Johnny negatively because afterwards he is constantly scared and has a look of fear in his eyes. One of the reasons he is walking alone at that time of night is because he lives in an abusive household, where his parents treat him really badly. Had his parents cared for him properly, he may not have been out alone at that time of night.
Because of this beating, Johnny becomes scared and nervous and this leads to Johnny killing Bob when the Socs jumped him and Ponyboy. Would he have done this if he hadn’t been jumped himself? I think the answer is no and because of his, a chain of events happen that ends up with Johnny losing his life. The key moment shows how the world that Johnny lives in has a negative impact on his life.
Another key moment that negatively affected Johnny is when his mother comes to the hospital and we see how much Johnny hates her. Johnny’s father is an alcoholic who is abusive to him and his mother ignores him. This type of life clearly has a negative impact on Johnny, as he has little confidence in himself as a result of being treated so badly by his parents.
A result of this lack of confidence is Johnny doing really badly in school, despite the fact that Ponyboy tells us that Johnny is really insightful when they are reading in the church. But Johnny was treated as if he was stupid by his teachers, probably because he is a greaser and also because his parents don’t care about his education.
It is clear from these two key moments that the world that Johnny lived in had a negative influence on his life and it resulted in his lack of confidence in life and school. It also resulted in Johnny becoming so nervous and scared that he ended up killing Bob the way he did.