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What do you think is going on with Ponyboy when he says," Johnny didn't have...

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sundar25 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2008 at 2:55 AM via web

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What do you think is going on with Ponyboy when he says," Johnny didn't have anything to do with Bob's getting killed" in The Outsiders?

Chapter 11

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 16, 2008 at 6:43 AM (Answer #1)

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Ponyboy is in a state of denial when he says that, hoping that by not admitting the truth he would not have to feel the pain of what had happened.  The trauma of the past week's events, beginning with Bob's stabbing and ending with both Johnny and Dally dying, has left Ponyboy exhausted and ill, both physically and emotionally.  Darry explains to Randy, "Don't ever say anything to him about Johnny...he's still pretty racked up mentally and emotionally.  The Doc said he'd get over it if we gave him time" (Chapter 11). After awhile, Darry confronts Ponyboy, saying, "...you're going to have to cut it out.  Johnny and Dallas were our buddies, too, but you don't just stop living because you lose someone...you don't quit" (Chapter 12).  Ponyboy himself explains best what was going on with him in the closing pages of the book.  He says, "I knew Johnny was dead.  I had known it all the time, even while I was sick and pretending he wasn't.  It was Johnny, not me, who had killed Bob - O knew that too.  I had just thought that maybe if I played like Johnny wasn't dead it wouldn't hurt so much" (Chapter 12).

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