Does Ponyboy ever share Johnny’s message about staying gold with anyone else in The Outsiders?  

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the end of the story, Ponyboy discovers Johnny's letter in the novel Gone with the Wind, which inspires him to write the novel The Outsiders in order to share his story with other kids struggling to overcome similar obstacles in their lives. In Johnny's letter, he interprets the Robert Frost poem by explaining to Pony that staying gold is equivalent to remaining youthful, innocent, and hopeful in life. Johnny once again encourages Ponyboy to stay gold and to share the same message with Dally, who desperately needs to see the positives in life. After reading Johnny's poem, Pony feels inspired to help the thousands of adolescents throughout the country dealing with similar issues and immediately calls his English teacher to ask him about the required length of his theme assignment. Pony then thinks about Bob Sheldon, Dally, and Johnny before beginning to write the story that he just narrated for his English assignment. Pony's first words of his theme assignment are the first words of the novel The Outsiders. Overall, Pony shares Johnny's message with his English teacher and countless adolescents who end up reading the novel.

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Yes, Ponyboy does plan on relating Johnny's message about 'staying gold' to other people, as revealed in the final chapter of the novel:

"I could picture hundreds and hundreds of boys living on the wrong sides of cities [...] Someone should tell their side of the story, and maybe people would understand then and wouldn't be so quick to judge a boy by the amount of hair oil he wore" (179).

Ponyboy contemplates the importance of telling the other boys' stories after finishing Johnny's letter.  He wishes he could tell Dally, knowing and hating the fact that it was too late.  After considering all the other boys who might need to hear a similar message, Ponyboy picks up his phone and called his English teacher, Mr. Syme, wondering about the required length of his English theme essay.  The reader can infer that Ponyboy plans on telling his and Johnny's story for his English paper that is due. 

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