What about Pony makes him different from his reputation as a mean and tough greaser in The Outsiders?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pony is different from his greaser reputation because he doesn’t like to fight and he does enjoy reading and going to school.

Pony looks like a greaser.  He wears his hair long because that is what greasers do, and because he thinks he looks better with long hair.  He dresses like a greaser, because he is poor and trying to fit in.  However, in many ways he is different.

Pony is a thinker.  He likes to read books and watch movies.  He ponders questions like what really makes Socs and greasers different.  He is willing to talk to Cherry, a Soc girl, to get her side of the story.

Pony is sensitive.  Unlike the tough character he is supposed to be, he feels things deeply.

Greasers can't walk alone too much or they'll get jumped, or someone will come by and scream "Greaser!" at them, which doesn't make you feel too hot, if you know what I mean. (ch 1)

Although many greasers are wild and get in trouble with the police, Pony points out that he does not do things like that.  When Johnny and Pony get jumped and Johnny accidentally kills a boy, Pony is terrified.  He and Johnny run away and disguise their appearance, but they are certainly not used to being on the run from the law.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy is unlike the other members of the Greaser gang and strays far from the reputation associated with the typical Greaser. He is not a naturally aggressive person and does not enjoy fighting other gangs. Ponyboy does not admire the Greaser persona and is more sensitive than the other members of his gang. Ponyboy is also intelligent, athletic, and sympathetic, which are unique character traits relative to the typical Greaser member. The typical Greaser does not care about education, sports, or literature. In contrast, Ponyboy enjoys and excels at all three. Ponyboy is in advanced classes, is a talented track athlete, and enjoys reading novels. His sensitive nature and empathetic disposition allow him to view Soc members from a different perspective. After befriending Cherry, Ponyboy realizes that the two rival gangs have more in common than he initially thought. Ponyboy's unique, understanding personality evokes sympathy for his character throughout the novel. His personality also provides depth and insight into the story, which is refreshing and entertaining.