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Ponyboy seems to have wanted to fight in the final rumble between the Greasers and the Socs but at the same time he does not really want to fight. He is not feeling well before the rumble takes place; he takes a few aspirin and can not really eat. It is clear that Darry does not think that Ponyboy should participate in the fight because he looks a little pale and just does not seem like himself.
In "The Outsiders", Ponyboy does not "like" to fight. He is compelled to fight in order to defend the honor of his friends and family. This is the culture he has been raised in, and ultimately sees no other alternative than to risk his own life for what he believes in. While listening to the confessions of his dearest friend Johnny on his deathbed, PB comes to the realization that "the fight" is a waste of life. We are all people, all human, all equal. His brother Darry has taken on the role of parent and protector. He attempts to keep Ponyboy safe and innocent, but ultimately, he must concede because the greasers need all the help they can get. He relinquishes his control to fate and the hopes that the experience will give PB the strength to survive in the unjust society they find themselves in.
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