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Why would Pony rather have anyone's hate than their pity in The Outsiders?

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lilgneedsanswers | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 22, 2013 at 12:53 AM via iOS

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Why would Pony rather have anyone's hate than their pity in The Outsiders?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:27 AM (Answer #1)

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Pony does not want pity because it means that people who barely know him feel superior to him.  He explains that some people consider the greasers inferior and in need of charity, when he actually likes who he is.  Pony takes pride in being a greaser, and does not want anyone to pity him.

Did they hate us now? I hoped they hated us, that they weren't full of that pity-the-victims-of-environment junk the social workers kept handing Curly Shepard every time he got sent off to reform school. I'd rather have anybody's hate than their pity. (ch 11, p. 163)

Pony is fully aware that he and his friends are usually ending up on the wrong side of society, and prefers that others would just leave the greasers alone, because they do not go looking for trouble.  They try to keep to themselves, and do not want to be pitied as victims.  If they are going to be misunderstood, it is better to be hated, because they are not seen as inferior.

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