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What did Johnny mean when he told Ponyboy to stay gold?

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sierradude | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 22, 2007 at 4:54 AM via web

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What did Johnny mean when he told Ponyboy to stay gold?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted March 22, 2007 at 5:25 AM (Answer #1)

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He means for him to hold on to his innocence and youth as long as he can. More information about the source of quote, which is from a poem by Robert Frost, in the link below.

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kelbel | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:37 AM (Answer #2)

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When Johnny told Ponyboy to Stay Gold he ment to stay young,true, honest,inicent ext..

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miss-brit | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted February 16, 2008 at 10:36 PM (Answer #4)

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As he lies dying in Chapter 9, Johnny Cade speaks these words to Ponyboy. “Stay gold” is a reference to the Robert Frost poem that Ponyboy recites to Johnny when the two hide out in the Windrixville Church. One line in the poem reads, “Nothing gold can stay,” meaning that all good things must come to an end. By the end of the novel, the boys apply this idea to youthful innocence, believing that they cannot remain forever unsullied by the harsh realities of life. Here, Johnny urges Ponyboy to remain gold, or innocent. Johnny now senses the uselessness of fighting; he knows that Ponyboy is better than the average hoodlum, and he wants Ponyboy to hold onto the golden qualities that set him apart from his companions.The quotation also recalls the period of time during which the boys’ friendship blossoms and solidifies—the idyllic interlude at the church. During this blissful time, the two boys read, talk, and smoke, escaping the adult world of responsibility. Like the gold of the poem, however, this idyll is tinged with sadness. Just as the gold in the poem vanishes, the idyll must end, and the boys must face the consequences of the murder.

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eaglesgal | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 28, 2008 at 2:26 AM (Answer #5)

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he means that since gold is pure and not changing that ponyboy needs to stay himself and not change because of the other things people are doing around him and to stay pure

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tahsin123 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted October 29, 2012 at 4:35 PM (Answer #6)

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He means to stay good and be pure 

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aznboy578 | Student, Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM (Answer #7)

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He told him to stay good. It's like saying stay sharp, or may the force be with you, or may our swords stay sharp. 

Good questions...Also you should find out what the poem means

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Yojana_Thapa | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted January 31, 2014 at 4:40 PM (Answer #8)

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When Johnny told Ponyboy to stay gold, the meaning would be to stay pure, be himself, preserve his own innocence.

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zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 30, 2014 at 3:03 AM (Answer #9)

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He means stay young and keep his innocence for as long as he can. He should not fall into the criminal ways of Dally or get stuck in a low job like most of the guys end up doing.

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kath555554444 | TA | Honors

Posted June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM (Answer #10)

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When Johnny said to Ponyboy to stay gold, he meant to stay pure, genuine, strong, sharp, etc. It overall is just positive words.

Johnny didn't want Ponyboy to change because he was already "gold" and he wanted him to stay that way forever. Also, at this time, Johnny was on his death-bed and he wasn't going to be around to watch over Ponyboy.

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ik9744 | TA , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted June 19, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Answer #11)

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When Johnny told Ponyboy to stay gold it meant to stay good, young, and pure. Just like when Ponyboy read the poem about "Nature's First Bloom Is Gold."

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laurto | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted June 30, 2014 at 3:15 AM (Answer #12)

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He wants him to stay gold by holding on to what makes him young and innocent because you are gold when you are young. He wants him to take advantage of his youth before he loses it as he gets older. People are only young once and he wants him to enjoy it while he has it. He wants him to stay the same and enjoy life and not grow up like the others had to. 

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jess1999 | TA , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:10 AM (Answer #13)

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When Johnny told Ponyboy to stay gold , he means for Ponyboy to stay pure . To hold on to his youth being honest and good .

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