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Had circumstances been different, Darry could have been a Soc. Smart and athletic, he had at one time earned an athletic scholarship, which would have enabled him to continue his education and move up the economic ladder. When his parents were killed in an accident, however, Darry chose to give all that up to make a home so that he and his brothers could stay together. He is now a working man who struggles each day to make ends meet - a Greaser.
Paul Holden had been on Darry's high school football team, and had gone on to college. When he, as a member of the Socs, confronts Darry at the rumble, he looks at his former "buddy" with an expression that Ponyboy "dislike(s)" - a look that conveys "contempt...(or) pity...(or) hate". In that moment, Ponyboy perceives that Darry hates Paul. It "(isn't) only jealousy - Darry (has) a right to be jealous; he (is) ashamed to be on (the Greasers') side".
Ponyboy realizes that no one but he and Soda can see Darry's shame. He quickly analyzes his discomfort at the discovery, observing astutely, "that's stupid...they've both come here to fight and they're both supposed to be smarter than that...what difference does the side make?" (Chapter 9).
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