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What do you think Johnny's last words to Ponyboy in The Outsiders means?  

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roxy_31512 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2008 at 10:29 AM via web

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What do you think Johnny's last words to Ponyboy in The Outsiders means?


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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 13, 2008 at 10:37 AM (Answer #1)

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When Johnny tells  Ponyboy to "stay gold" he is referring back to the poem that Ponyboy recited while they were in the old church in Windrixville.  The poem, by Robert Frost, is called "Nothing Gold Can Stay". The basic idea of the poem is that life happens in fleeting moments. Good things do not stay long enough.  The poem is basically a metaphor for youth.  Johnny is reminding Pony to stay young and innocent. He doesn't want Ponyboy to become cold and hard like Dallas Winston. He wants him to remain the same, a good and intelligent young man, forever. He wants him to continue to be unique amongst the greasers and stay true to himself. He would like Ponyboy to continue to find happiness in sunsets, books, and movies. 

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ponyboilover | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 1, 2009 at 3:03 AM (Answer #2)

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"Stay Gold, Ponyboy, Stay Gold" means to keep his youthfull innocence and not get caught up in these useless fights.

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classicaldvorakviolinistlover | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:56 PM (Answer #6)

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"gold" means "good" so he is trying to say "stay good,ponyboy, stay good"

what he means by that is up to you.

But the word "stay" also tells you hes is alredy doing it so he is probably not telling him to do somthing or not do somthing.

sources: 8th grade.

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ik9744 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 20, 2014 at 12:14 AM (Answer #7)

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Johnny told Ponyboy to, "Stay gold." Which means to stay good, young, or pure. To not turn into Dally, even though he can be a great buddy.

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jess1999 | Student, Grade 9 | TA | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:12 AM (Answer #8)

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Towards the end , Johnny told Ponyboy to " stay gold " , when he told Ponyboy to " stay gold " it means that he should stay pure . To hold on to his youth being truthful .

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ftw-readmachine | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 7, 2011 at 6:08 AM (Answer #4)

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Stay Gold= Near the beginning of the book Ponyboy asks himself what is better growing up fast like Darry and being hard, or just not growing up at all like Sodapop and being fun and playful. Johhny means, "stay gold" as don't grow up be fun,playful, and stay as you are intelligent, nice, and good.

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nacory | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2008 at 10:30 PM (Answer #5)

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stay gold - means to be good

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