In The Outsiders, what did Ponyboy learn from Randy about the socs?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 7, Randy Adderson approaches Ponyboy in the parking lot of the Tasty Freeze and has an enlightening conversation with him. Randy begins by commending Ponyboy for his brave actions during the church fire before mentioning that he won't be attending the rumble. Randy proceeds to tell Pony that he is sick of the senseless violence and begins discussing Bob Sheldon's home life. Ponyboy gains valuable insight into the lives of the Socs from Randy's explanation of Bob's home life. Randy tells Pony that Bob was given everything he asked for and was never disciplined. According to Randy, Bob's parents blamed themselves for his bad behavior, and he simply needed someone who would tell him "no." Randy also tells Pony that no matter the outcome of the rumble, things will stay the same and there will always be a divide between the two gangs because of society. Randy ends the conversation by lamenting about his decision to not participate in the rumble and mentions that he feels like running away. Following their conversation, Pony remembers Cherry telling him that "things are rough all over." Randy's insight into Bob Sheldon's life and his confession that he is sick of violence reveals to Ponyboy that the Socs struggle in different ways.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Randy Adderson, a soc, tells Ponyboy that he won't be showing up at the rumble that night because he's tired of the fighting. Randy also tells Ponyboy that Bob's parents spoiled him rotten. Bob was good looking and intelligent, and his parents allowed him to do whatever he wanted. Even when he came home drunk, his parents blamed themselves for his actions rather than punishing him. Randy believes that kids want their parents to punish them and set limits for them, and he thinks that if Bobs father had only hit him once, Bob would still be alive. Randy also says that he thinks the rumble that is taking place that night is pointless. At the end, the greasers will still be poor, and the socs will still have money. He doesn't think the fighting will change anything, and he's tired of the situation between the greasers and socs.

leighanastasia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy learned from Randy that it's "rough all over" and that socs have feelings too. Before talking to Randy, Ponyboy had this idealized view of socs, that maybe they didn't bleed like the greasers did. After talking to Randy, he came to realize just how similar the two boys really were, regardless of clique.