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I need to be able to discuss how within this novel, gold, is often referred to and used...

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eponine13 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 21, 2013 at 11:16 PM via web

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I need to be able to discuss how within this novel, gold, is often referred to and used symbolically to represent different meanings...I need some quotes to prove these meanings.

How is the word "gold" in the novel used and how is it compared to that of the dictionary definition....

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:12 AM (Answer #1)

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The most famous line of the novel comes from a poem by Robert Frost. "Nature's first green is gold, its hardest hue to hold...as dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay." Ponyboy recites this poem and inspires his friend Johnny. The meaning in the poem is ostensibly about the fleeting nature of the seasons and the sensual moments found in the natural world. In this way it is also a metaphor for youth and vitality. Gold is associated with the sun, and solar gods like Apollo that represent strength and vigor. Gold could also be associated with wealth, or fame, and these are thems the novel also deals with. When, on his deathbed, Johnny tells Ponyboy "Stay gold" we know he is thinking of the poem and Ponyboy's ability to project strength and power, even as he is quiet and shy at times. His intelligence and sensitivity place him above many of his working class friends and family, as well as the more middle class "Socs" who are his social rivals.

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