In The Outsiders (Chapter 7), why didn't Randy want to fight in the rumble?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Randy goes to have a chat with Ponyboy, he appears unhappy and overburdened by something. According to Ponyboy, he even appears to be ten years older than he actually is. Randy applauds Ponyboy for saving the children at the church fire then states that he doubts he would have done the same if he were in Ponyboy’s shoes. He is deeply hurt by Bob’s death and states that he would not be taking part in the much awaited rumble. Instead, he planned to move away to a different place and start life anew. According to him, he would not be involved in the rumble because it would bring about no change and yet people would get hurt and others killed. No matter which side won, nothing would change. The socs would continue being socs enjoying the privileges they already did while the greasers would continue with their low social economic status. He could no longer stand the violence and senseless killings and so he would not involve himself in a course less fight.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bob's death has a lingering effect on Randy Adderson. He decides not to take part in the rumble because

... it doesn't do any good, the fighting and the killing. It doesn't prove a thing. We'll forget it if you win, or if you don't. Greasers will still be greasers and Socs will still be Socs. Sometimes I think it's the ones in the middle that are really the lucky stiffs.

Randy tells Ponyboy that he would fight if he thought it would make a difference. Randy decides that he will take "my little old Mustang" and some money and get out of town. Randy is in a tough situation: He knows he'll be "marked chicken" if he doesn't participate, but his heart is no longer in the gang scene.

Interestingly, in Susan E. Hinton's followup to The Outsiders (That Was Then, This is Now), Randy reappears as a hippie in a Volkswagen van. He truly has forsaken violence for a more peaceful lifestyle. 

lethalwhite14 | Student

Randy was sick and tired of fighting the Greasers because even if they won, the greasers would still be at the bottom of society.