In the book, The Outsiders, what advice would you give Ponyboy?
For example, Dally told him "stay tuff and nothing can hurt you, stay smart and nothing can touch you." Johnny told him "Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold." What would you tell him?
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Ponyboy could use some new friends and additional outside interests to help get his mind off the deaths of Johnny and Dally. At the end of the novel, he seems to have found that he has a new talent--writing. He would be wise to cut back on the cigarettes and rejoin the track team, an activity at which he seems to excel and one which would allow him some introspective moments while running. I would tell Pony to stay in touch with Cherry, since their friendship seems to have been one worth continuing. (You can actually catch up with some of Pony's future activities since he appears in S. E. Hinton's followup, That Was Then, This Is Now.)
I guess this is sort of cliche and trite, but I think that I would tell him that he needs to be true to who he is, not to who someone else thinks that he needs to be. I think that this is good advice for anyone.
I think that Pony, in this book, is at times being pushed to be someone he does not really want to be. He is being pushed to be more of a gang banger than he really wants to be. So I would tell him that he needs to stay true to himself.
I actually don't think that that goes against either of the two pieces of advice you list here, though.
Ponyboy is truly a victim of circumstances-neither he nor his two brothers are truly "greasers." Darry and Ponyboy are both intelligent enough to get a college degree and head for a better life if money weren't an issue. And Soda doesn't drink, commit crimes, and shows a sensitive, responsible side when it comes to Sandy. They are three people who should not be held back by being labeled "greasers" or wind up like Dally or Johnny.
My advice to Ponyboy would be to find a way to change the course of his life. Perhaps he could focus more on his track abilities and strive to get a college scholarship that way. He should also continue to write as a way to heal and to try to make some changes in his surroundings. By getting his life on track, he would be encouraging his brothers to work towards building a better life for themselves.
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