During the hearing in The Outsiders what is the judge aware of that Ponyboy is not?  

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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At the beginning of chapter twelve, Ponyboy discusses the hearing, "which wasn't anything like [he] thought it would be" (167).  Before the hearing, Ponyboy really worried about what the judge would have to say about his involvement in Bob's death and how that might affect him and his brothers getting to stay at home together.  Ponyboy mentions that his doctor attended the hearing as well and "had a long talk with the judge before the hearing" (167). 

Based on this piece of information as well as the kind of questioning by the judge during the hearing, the reader can infer that the doctor recommended that the judge not bring up Johnny or the night of Bob's murder with Ponyboy.  The doctor obviously convinced the judge that Ponyboy's mental health was more than a little delicate concerning that traumatic night.  Ponyboy at this point has very mixed up feelings about what happened and mistakenly believes that he killed Bob, so clearly he is currently not a reliable source of information. The judge never questioned Ponyboy about the events directly, although Cherry and the other Soc boys were questioned about what happened at the park. 


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