Darry in The Outsiders: Character Analysis & Quotes

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  • 0:03 The Responsible One
  • 0:31 Boy of the Year
  • 1:13 Old Before His Time
  • 2:00 Ponyboy and Darry
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we'll review the characteristics of the eldest of the Curtis brothers, Darrel (Darry), from the S.E. Hinton novel ''The Outsiders.'' Why did he have to grow up so fast?

The Responsible One

In S.E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel The Outsiders, Darry is the twenty-year-old, eldest brother of Ponyboy and Sodapop Curtis, who was tasked with raising a family at a young age after their parents were killed in a car accident. Giving up the hopes and dreams of a young, successful athlete, Darry traded everything for the dream of keeping his family together. In this lesson, we'll learn more about how Darry Curtis dealt with having to grow up way too fast.

Boy of the Year

Exceptionally close to his father, Darry was the popular, captain of the high school football team. Six feet, two inches tall with broad shoulders, a muscular build, and a handsome face, the ''Boy of the Year'' received an athletic scholarship. Everything appeared to be going his way, when suddenly, everything changed. Darry's parents were killed in a car accident. Darry possibly could have continued his dreams, but his underage, younger brothers would have been separated and placed in boy's homes. Darry would not allow his family to be pulled apart; instead, he got hard. Darry demonstrates that sometimes, pulling out of the cycle of poverty is an impossible task, even if you do everything right.

Old Before His Time

Though he's only twenty years old, Darry is ''getting old before his time.'' The stress of taking care of a family, holding down two jobs, and not having any fun like other people his age has taken its toll on him. If his eyes weren't so cold, he would be handsome. Ponyboy narrates, ''He's got eyes that are like two pieces of pale blue-green ice.'' Darry looks a lot like his father, except his dad looked young for his age. With dark brown hair that curls out in front and has a wave in the back, Darry comes across as tough, cool, and smart. He made the decision to sacrifice his dreams in an effort to provide Ponyboy with the opportunity to make something of himself. Struggling day to day without a glimmer of hope for anything better ages him.

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