Realism and Accuracy
So, you think you know everything about everything? Neither do I! Here's a place for us to help each other out. Come here if you are seeking knowledge for your story, or sharing what you knowthink. Doesn't have to be Outsiders related.
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
Artemis Rex
In the book/movie, Dallas has been recently released from jail as the story begins. However, he is only 17; it would make more sense to have him in a reformatory or a boys' home (since he doesn't seem to have a fixed address). Was it common pratice to send underaged teenagers to jail at the time? In the movie, Ponyboy refers to a 90 day sentence, so I'm guessing the offense wasn't terribly serious.
5/4/2006 #1
i don't know if it was common practice or not, but i'll take a wild guess and say that maybe Dallas wasn't in an actual prison. i think the trick here might be the slang. In the book, Pony tells Dally he didn't know he was out of the "cooler" yet. i haven't seen the movie in a while, so i don't know the exact wording there, but later in the book, just before the rumble, Steve says that Curly Shepard is "in the cooler, the reformatory." Since Pony never says jail flat out, it's possible that Dallas was just in a detention center kinda thing. it's also possible that when Pony makes references to Dallas being in jail at the age of ten, it could have been something like he'd been held overnight in a cell a couple times, maybe in an attempt to 'scare him straight'. that's my theory, anyway. hope that helps.
5/4/2006 #2
Artemis Rex
Thanks, I re-watched the movie after reading your post and Pony does indeed say, "When'd you get out of the cooler, Dal?" So if we go on the theory -- which is well supported from the later comment you noted in the book -- that cooler can reference reformatory, then perhaps Dallas could well have been in one. There is an outtake in the extended version of the movie that has Dallas coming out of a building, opening an envelope with his personal effects in it. There are several police nearby, and that's what made me think he was in jail. However, the scene was not in the book nor did the movie scene confirm it was a jail/half-way house/boys'home/reformatory. I also like your theory on Dally been held in a jail overnight. It is even possible he was arrested, his parents called and no one came to pick him up! Where would the police put a ten-year-old boy to sleep? Maybe in an open cell?
5/4/2006 #3
something like a holding cell would be my guess, assuming that Dally was as much of a punk at ten as he was at seventeen.
5/5/2006 #4
Mars on Fire
A reformatory is just another term for youth detention. Which is jail for saying "cooler" could refer to that as well. I would assume back in the '60s or so they'd hold someone before they had to see the judge in a holding cell...I can't see them taking the kids to the reformatory, then to court, then back to the reformatory again. I think a section for underage kids in the city jail would've been more economical for holding them.
10/14/2006 #5

In Texas you go to jail at seventeen.

I don't know about Oklahoma. I never plan to set foot or wheel in that state ever again sense all the cars that the cops ever pull over have a Texas license plate.

8/15/2010 #6
Violet Rhapsody

I once tried to figure out what a reformatory was like. All I could find about it for the time period was that it was essentially a jail. It just had younger occupants. Apparently that was the only difference.

3/30/2013 #7
Forum Moderators: NittanyLizard
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member