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Dulce Chacon

The youngest member of the gang, Ponyboy is different from the other members in that he is reflective, likes to read, and enjoys nature. Darry's expectations for him are intense. The other gang members know that he is not like them and want him to retain his character. Johnny tells him to keep his "goldenness," and Darrel is particularly rough on him, telling him that he can obtain the college scholarship that he, Darrell, wished he had had for himself.

Ponyboy has not only made A's on the athletic track team, but has also excelled in his schoolwork. He may indeed be the counter-argument to his reflections on the unfairness of life: Although he has grown up in a deprived background, he has also been given the inner ability to surmount that background if he so wished. He appears to have the drive and motivation of his oldest brother. This is largely unlike the others greasers whom, Ponyboy noted, were largely satisfied with their lives. The greaser life was what they wanted: Steve enjoyed shoplifting, Sodapop liked working with cars and flirting with the blondes and Dallas wanted to be killed. Darrel was the only one who was stuck in this life against his will. Darrel did, however, possess the willpower to claw his way out of it.

Ponyboy's development in the narrative is one of promise and hope. Life is indeed unfair, but there is a way out, and as Ponyboy says in his final encounter with the Socs, survival in life depends on the self:

"I knew as well as [Two-Bit] did that if you got tough you didn't get hurt. Get smart and nothing can touch you…" (179).

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