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The greasers may be considered outsiders from the wrong side of the tracks, but some of them do display a desire to conform and fit in with others. Ponyboy understands the benefit of a good education, and he plans to go against the family trend and attend college. He and Soda may never have joined a gang in the first place had they not lost their parents, and Pony dreams of regaining his old life with a mother and father. But Johnny Cade probably best exemplifies a need to belong. His parents don't care if Johnny comes or goes, they fight all the time, and he has no home life. Alone, he is jumped and nearly killed by a group of Socs. But with the other greasers, Johnny finds a group of boys who treat each other as brothers. Johnny is small but tough, and he is accepted into the gang as both an equal as well as a sympathetic figure: As bad as the rest of them may have it, no one has a tougher life than Johnny. Dally, the coldest greaser of them all, loved Johnny best of all. Despite his severe injuries, Johnny doesn't regret entering the church to save the children. His pals, Pony and Dally, followed him inside, and he dies a reluctant "hero," offering deathbed advice that Pony will later take to heart.
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