How can I compare and contrast the Curtis brothers, Darry, Sodapop, and Ponyboy in The Outsiders?
The Curtis brothers have very different personalities, but they all self-identify as Greasers. Darry is serious and adult-like, Sodapop is a heartthrob, and Ponyboy is the baby of the family, quiet and thoughtful.
The Curtis brothers have no parents. They died in a car crash. The oldest, Darry, takes care of the other two so they don’t wind up in foster care.
[My] oldest brother, Darrel, who we call Darry, works too long and hard... (ch 1)
Soda is the next oldest. He works at a filling station, but he cares more about girls than school. Darry acts as the parent figure, and the disciplinarian, mostly for Ponyboy.
[The] second oldest brother, Soda, who is sixteen-going-on-seventeen, never cracks a book at all. (ch 1)
Ponyboy, on the other hand, is sensitive and artistic. Soda doesn’t read books and Darry works too hard, but Ponyboy is “not like them” because he is “interested in a story or drawing a picture” instead. (ch 1)
What the boys have in common is that they all consider themselves Greasers. This is a working-class description, focusing on their tendency to wear long, greasy hair.
Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while. I don't mean I do things like that. (ch 1)
Although Ponyboy sometimes feels like he does not fit in to his family, all of the brothers love each other and care about one another. Even though they are poor, they want to make something of themselves. Darry and Soda are proud of Ponyboy for being smart. They want him to live a good life.