Johnny is like a beaten puppy to his friends. His mother and father are abusive and unloving, so the boys become his family. Every one of the Greasers likes Johnny and is very protective of him. After his severe beating at the hands of a group of Socs, the Greaser members protect him and offer him the kindness and love he is denied at home. Sodapop is the family mediator, serving as a buffer between Darry's gruff and strict behavior toward the dreamy, immature of little brother Ponyboy. Each of his brothers can talk to Soda and seek his advice. He defuses tense situations at home. With Johnny, Soda continues this role of protector and confidante.