How were Darry and Ponyboy devoted to their family in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The oldest of the three Curtis brothers, Darry was forced to take over as the head of the household when his parents were killed in an automobile accident. A promising high school football player with college scholarship opportunities, Darry had to forego his future plans in order to stay at home and take care of Pony and Soda. Darry often worked two jobs and double shifts in order to bring home enough money to pay the bills and take care of his brothers. Although Darry joined his brother and the rest of the greasers in the rumble with the Socs, he was not actively involved in the gang lifestyle, and he only participated in support of his brothers and other friends.

Pony loves his brothers dearly, though he often battles with Darry, who is strict with Pony in order to keep him off the streets and out of trouble. Pony tries his best to follow Darry's rules and keep everyone happy, but his immaturity and inability to think things through before acting keeps the two of them at each other's throats. Pony does try to maintain his grades, and he plans to finish school, but he has few role models to help him academically. Like Soda and Darry, Pony worries that the family may be legally separated after the death of the Soc in the park.