How does Ponyboy’s relationship with Darry and Sodapop differ?

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Ponyboy has totally different relationships with his older brothers.  Sodapop is his idol.  He loves Sodapop and is very close to him.  He says that he "can tell Soda anything."

"Soda is "always happy-go-lucky and grinning" and the type of person who doesn't drink alcohol because "he gets drunk on just plain living." He listens to everyone, "understands everybody," and is Pony's confidante."

In contrast to this close loving relationship with Sodapop is Ponyboy's volatile relationship with his oldest brother, Darry.  Pony and Darry are always at odds.  Darry gets frustrated because Ponyboy "never thinks" and is always doing things that put the family's living arrangements at risk.  Darry is the "father figure" since the death of the boy's parents.  If they get into trouble the state agency will separate them.  Darry is working two jobs to try to keep the family together and is hard on Ponyboy because he has to be.  It isn't until the end of the novel that Ponyboy grows up enough to realize that Darry and he may not ever be close, but Darry really does love him.

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In The Outsiders, Ponyboy is the youngest of three brothers. Soda is his second oldest brother and the one with whom Ponyboy has a close relationship. Ponyboy feels that Soda understands his interests in movies and books. Described by Ponyboy as " happy-go-lucky," Soda is easy to talk to and easy to get along with. Ponyboy shares his feelings with Soda and loves him more than anyone.

Darry is the oldest brother. Forced into the role of father figure for his two younger brothers after the death of their parents, Darry is much more serious than Soda. Ponyboy often struggles in his relationship with Darry because he feels that Darry treats him as if he is "six instead of fourteen." Although Darry often yells at Ponyboy, Ponyboy does understand that Darry has had to give up many opportunities to take care of him and Soda.

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