In chapter 4 of The Outsiders, the theme is friendship. List five things from this chapter that are part of the theme. 

The theme of friendship is demonstrated in chapter 4 of The Outsiders in several ways. One example occurs when Johnny saves Pony from drowning. Near the end of the chapter, Pony realizes that being separated from his friends is worse than being classified as a greaser.

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Johnny demonstrates a powerful friendship by using the ultimate force to save Pony's life. As Pony's head is held underwater, he thinks that he is going to drown for sure. Just as his mind begins to fill with "red haze" and he relaxes into certain death, Johnny kills the guy who was holding him under the water.

Dally demonstrates a willingness to help his friends in dire circumstances by taking in Pony and Johnny just after this death and coming up with a plan for their escape. He provides a gun and some money and then tells them where to hide out for a while to evade authorities. In his own way, Dally is trying to keep the boys safe.

There is also friendship in the physical closeness of these friends as they escape. Pony uses Johnny's legs as a pillow as he finds a momentary reprieve from the exhaustion they face. In this moment, it is clear that the two are close.

In another act of friendship, Johnny remains awake while Pony sleeps, sacrificing his own comfort so that his friend has a moment to recover. In fact, Johnny's legs are so numb from Pony's laying across them that he can barely stand to jump from the train that they have hitched a ride on.

Near the end of the chapter, we also see Pony's reflections on his friendships. He knows that Dally will keep their location a secret. He worries that Johnny will be punished with the electric chair for killing a Soc if they are caught. He worries about never seeing his brothers, Two-Bit and Steve, again. Pony realizes that there are "things worse than being a greaser"—and losing the friends whom he depends on falls into that classification.

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As narrator, Ponyboy describes his view of life as including small groups of friends who stay together and protect each other during the conflicts with other social classes. And, in Chapter Four of The Outsiders this bonding of friendship becomes crucial to him. After Darry strikes him for being out so late, Ponyboy returns to his friend Johnny and they talk; afterwards, Ponyboy decides to return home, but he suggests they go to the park to give his brother some time to calm down. The night has grown cold and the boys shiver as they notice again the blue Mustang approaching them. Then, it stops and five Socs step out. Johnny turns white and his hand goes into the pocket where he keeps his switchblade.

  • Ponyboy wishes that his brother and Soda were there also as in their fraternity, they could defend themselves against the drunken Socs.

I wished desperately that Darry and Soda would come along hunting for me. The four of us could handle them easily. But no one was around, and I knew Johnny and I were going to have to fight it out alone. 

After Johnny warns the Socs that they are out of their territory, Bob calls the greasers "white trash with long hair."

  • That Bob has insulted his friend Johnny incenses Pony and he retorts, "You know what a Soc is?" I said, my voice shaking with rage. "White trash with Mustangs and madras." And then, because I couldn't think of anything bad enough to call them, I spit at them.

Then, the fight begins as Bob sticks Ponyboy's head in the icy water of the fountain, holding him under water. Ponyboy hopes his friend will save him.

  • I'm dying, I thought, and wondered what was happening to his friend Johnny. I couldn't hold my breath any longer. [Without Johnny's help he will drown]
  • Fortunately, Johnny does rescue him, but only after he stabs Bob, killing him. When Ponyboy sees what has happened, he gets sick; then he asks Johnny if he has really killed Bob. Johnny explains, 

"Yeah." His voice quavered slightly. "I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you. And they had a blade... they were gonna beat me up...."

  • Ponyboy affirms his friendship for Johnny by including himself in the situation and not abandoning him to suffer the consequences alone: "Johnny!" I nearly screamed. "What are we gonna do? They put you in the electric chair for, killing people!" 
  • Johnny realizes that they must flee before the police come; Ponyboy asks his friend what they should do. "Dally," Johnny said with finality. "Dally'll get us outs here."I heaved a sigh. Why hadn't I thought of that? But I never thought of anything. Dallas Winston could do any­thing.
  • So, the boys run to Dallas, who is a true hood. He tells Johnny "Good for you" when he learns of Bob's killing, and he provides the boys a gun and tells them about an abandoned church where they can hide. While he is sociopathic, enjoying the idea of Bob's murder, Dallas, nevertheless, extends friendship in helping Johnny and Ponyboy escape.
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