How is Ponyboy Curtis a hero in The Outsiders? Explain.

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I think the other answers to this question are great, and I definitely agree with them.  I also think Ponyboy Curtis can be considered a hero in S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, because he is a survivor.  Losing both parents at a young age is incredibly hard on a child, but Ponyboy and his brothers are able to make it on their own, even if it's by just barely getting by every month.  I also have a tremendous amount of respect for Ponyboy because he knows the value of education.  He is a dedicated student and a hard worker.  Most kids would have just given up, thinking their futures futile if they had no money and no parents.  Ponyboy, however, continues to work hard and do well, with the hope of receiving a college scholarship.  He could have very easily gone the other way and decided school wasn't for him.  Instead, though, he makes the wiser decision to stay in school and do well.

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I would say Pony is a hero in two ways.  He is a hero in the conventional sense for helping to save the kids and he is a hero in a less conventional sense for overcoming his problems.

We usually think of heroes as people who rescue other people or do something equally brave.  Pony did this, and so he is a hero in that way.

But to me, a hero is also just someone we can or should admire.  And I think we should admire Pony for overcoming all the problems he has and the temptations to become a bad person.  I think Pony is admirable because he is going to "stay gold."

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