How do Ponyboy's feelings toward Randy reflect the conflict between the Socs and the Greasers in The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton?
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Of all the Socs, Randy appears to be the most sensitive, or at any rate, he is deeply affected by Bob, his best friend's, death, and is the only Soc the reader sees denouncing the violence towards the novel's end. Ponyboy has mixed feelings about Randy during their conversation prior to the big rumble; on the one hand, he resents Randy and his affiliation with the Socs, at whose hands Johnny had sustained a savage beating, and Ponyboy hasn’t forgotten Randy’s role, albeit it indirect, in Johnny’s death. On the other hand, however, Randy has approached him with some serious thoughts about the nature of violence and the senselessness of it, as well as indicating his decision not to join his Soc buddies in the upcoming rumble. This conversation doesn’t make the boys newfound friends, of course, but it does serve to cast Randy in a different light for Ponyboy, who decides that perhaps behind the group bravado exhibited by the Socs, at least in Randy's case, "the other guy was human too".
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