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Gone with the Wind is the book that Ponyboy and Johnny read together while they hide in the old church. Johnny brings a copy of it back with him after getting supplies; he "remembered [Ponyboy] sayin' somethin' about it once" and "thought [he] could read it out loud and help kill time or something" (71). Hinton uses the themes of bravery from the novel to make connections to her own characters' struggles.
Ponyboy observes that Johnny "was especially stuck on the Southern gentleman--impressed with their manners and charm" (75). He thought they were "gallant" and reminded him of Dally's coolness and implacable manner. When the church catches on fire, Johnny is proud to have his own "gallant" moment when he runs into rescue the children. Johnny's interest in Southern charm, mannerisms, and the bravery of the men during the Civil War reveals his own personal desire, not just for a more refined life, but to be able to face his troubles with courage.
Nothing gold can stay means nothing good can stay relating to Johnny’s death.
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