"The Outsiders" Chapter 8

fact sheet

Theme of the chapter


Ponyboy is worried about losing his best friend Johnny which shows that friendship can be tragic.

Dally and Tim Shepard are great friends even though they fight a lot. This shows that true friends forgive.

Cherry and Ponyboy are friends even though they have completely different lives. This shows that money doesn't matter when it comes to friendship.

Important Characters

  • Ponyboy Curtis
  • Johnny Cade
  • Two-bit Mathews
  • Dallas Winston
  • Cherry Valance.

Character Development

Ponyboy and Two-bit visit Johnny and Dally in the hospital. Ponyboy, Two-bit and Dally realise how badly injured Johnny really is. This makes Ponyboy and Two-bit sad but it makes Dally angry. Johnny was like Dally's pet, he always wanted to keep him safe and now he was dying. Cherry is finding it hard to move on from Bob's death. She says she can't see Johnny because he killed Bob. Ponyboy is angry at her for this at first but then he feels sorry for Cherry and Randy as they both lost someone important to them.


  • In the Hospital
  • On the bus, travelling home
  • In the vacant lot.

Significant events

  • Two-bit and Ponyboy go to the hospital to visit Johnny and Dally.
  • Two-bit buys Johnny a copy of Gone with the Wind.
  • Two-bit gives Dally his switchblade.
  • As the boys are going home they run into Cherry.
  • Ponyboy reminds Cherry that they both see the same sunset.

Important quotes

‘Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot. But all the wrong things, not the things you want to learn. Sixteen years on the streets and you can see a lot. But all the wrong sights, not the sights you want to see.’ (p.116) - Living on the streets can be tough. You see a lot of violence and you have to learn to be tough and keep your feelings to yourself.

'We could get along without anyone but Johnny.' (p.117) - Ponyboy feels like Johnny is already gone. The gang needs Johnny. No one in the gang is as important as Johnny.

'We had always been close buddies, and those lonely days in the church strengthened our friendship.' (p.115) - Ponyboy and Johnny have a really strong friendship. Being in the church together strengthened their friendship because they only saw each other for a whole week.

'I don't want to die now. It ain't long enough. Sixteen years ain't long enough.' (p.115) - Johnny is scared and sad that he is going to die. He regrets that his life has ended up so short.

'Don't start crying, I commanded myself, don't start crying, you'll scare Johnny.' (p.115) - Ponyboy is trying to be positive for Johnny. He can't express his real emotion otherwise Johnny will shatter.

'She saw us and gave us such a look of hatred that I almost backed up.' (p.117) - Johnny's mother is horrible. She is rude and she judges the boys.

'You know, the only thing that keeps Darry from bein' a Soc is us.' (p.120) - Because Darry was good at sport and he was smart he could be a soc but he has to take care and pay for his brothers.

'"Bob..." She swallowed, then went on quietly.' (p.122) - Cherry is finding Bob's death hard to deal with.

'Two-bit stood and looked at the door a long time. "I wish it was any one of us except Johnny," he said, and his voice was serious for once.' (p.117) - The loss of Johnny affects Two-bit in a painful way.