What are some strengths Ponyboy has in S. E. Hinton's book, The Outsiders?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Ponyboy is most definitely characterized as being different from the rest of the Greasers.

First, he is a very caring person, which is demonstrated in his desires to see an end put to the fighting between Socs and Greasers. Though he sees that a social gap between the two groups is inevitable, because of his brief acquaintance with Cherry, he also sees that the "two worlds [they] lived in weren't so different. [They] saw the same sunset." In Chapter 7, further evidence of his caring persona is seen in the fact that he risked his life rushing into the burning church to rescue children who had been playing inside.

The rest of the Greasers also recognize Ponyboy as being a much more sensitive, civilized person than other Greasers. Due to his sensitivity, they try to discourage him from getting involved in the violence. His sensitive and civilized nature are reflected in his interests in poetry, sunsets, earning good grades, and in the fact that, after threatening enemies with a broken bottle, he stoops down to pick up the broken glass because he "didn't want anyone to get a flat tire" (Ch. 12).

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