The Role Of Darrel In The Outsiders

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CHAPTER II: Emotional wounds and means of substitutions. 1. The new role of the older brother: from a sibling relationship to a parental one

Parents must take care of their children, support them and provide a safe environment. However, in some families, it is not the case and the oldest, despite their young age, becomes the parent. The novels studied in our dissertation depict this role reversal.
The oldest child is often portrayed as the most responsible and reliable. Parents usually expect more from their first child. When the parents are present the oldest sibling might decide to become the confidant and advisor to their younger siblings without being obligated to do so. This pattern is reproduced in Tex, the Outsiders and in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Because of their ranks of birth Peter, Mace and
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An abrupt and definitive role for Darrel in The Outsiders.

Darrel Curtis’s responsibilities are more important than Peter’s since they are definitive. Darry had to step into the role of his parents overnight. Nothing could have prepared him to believe that someday he will be responsible for his younger brothers. Moreover, he has the responsibility to keep them close and united since the judge only allowed the three brothers to stay together if they stayed out of trouble.
Sodapop and Ponyboy are under his supervision. Darry had to become an adult too fast and assumed the duties that came with his new status. Consequently, Darry and Ponyboy have a singular relationship, which is more similar to a father-son relationship than a sibling one. Darry is often in conflict with his youngest brother regarding different topics such as his grades or his recklessness.
Curiously Darry treats his two brothers differently, he is less demanding with Sodapop than he is with Ponyboy. The latter interprets this difference as injustice instead of concern. Darry has more expectations for his younger brother, simply because he believes that Ponyboy has more
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