Johnny Cade – the Unseen Hero

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Johnny Cade – The Unseen Hero Johnny, the meekest member of the Greasers, was slightly built, with big-black eyes in a dark tanned face and long, jet-black hair heavily greased and combed to the side. He had the appearance of "a little dark puppy that had been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers," due to his suffering at the hands of the Socs. He always seemed to be cringing and uncertain of himself, largely because he had been a battered child. His father had frequently beaten him, and his mother had ignored him except to scream at him about something. As a result, the greasers had always tried to protect Johnny. Still, the greasers needed Johnny in return, for protecting him gives them a sense of purpose and justified their violent measures. Throughout the novel, this timid sixteen-year old, Johnny, is the principal catalyst for the major events in the novel, for he had the moral courage to stand up for what was right. As a result of his beating from the Socs, Johnny was constantly nervous, but had the bravery to speak up when he believed things needed changing/ were wrong. For example, at the drive-in, Johnny managed to raise his voice to Dally—which had been Johnny’s most helpful “stand over” man as well as idol—telling him to stop harassing the two girls, Cherry and Marcia. Due to the new boldness of Johnny, Dally had been shocked and therefore stepped away as told. Fortunately, Johnny’s intervention on the girls’ behalf pleases the girls, and they talked and walked with the greasers. On the other hand, this interaction between the female Socs and male greasers sparked the anger of the Soc boys and motivated them to attack Johnny and Ponyboy. When he and Pony were later jumped by the Socs in the park, Johnny had the nerve to use his switchblade to attempt to scare off the Socs. Once this did not seem to work, he eventually got the

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