Character Relationships In The Outsiders

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Relationships between characters affect how they interact with others. An excellent example S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, a story of conflict and belonging. There are many complex character relationships in the story, including Darry and his younger brother, Ponyboy. Ponyboy, the protagonist, lives with his two older brothers, Soda and Darry. Their parents died earlier in the year. As a result of this, Darry, the oldest, works two jobs in order to take care of his two younger brothers, and though Darry and Ponyboy have a strong relationship as brothers, their relationship has ups and downs. Darry is trying to take care of his brothers and do what is best for them. Sometimes, though, he pushes Ponyboy too hard, which Soda constantly has to remind him of “...when Darry hollers at you, he don’t mean nothin’.” (Hinton, 17) Soda is trying to remind Pony that Darry doesn’t mean all of the things he says when he is angry, and that he only yells because he is concerned about how Ponyboy acts. Sometimes, though, Ponyboy is too reckless, and it pushes Darry over the edge. Darry becomes too critical, and it lowers his self-esteem. For example, when Darry scolds Ponyboy for coming inside too late, “I felt hot tears of anger and frustration rising. ‘I said I didn’t mean to!’” (Hinton, 50), Ponyboy feels as though Darry doesn’t love him, and that Darry criticizes him more than he deserves. Darry becomes frustrated when Ponyboy doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions, and when
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