On page 132 of The Outsiders, when Ponyboy asks what kind of world it is, what comment is he making about how society judges people?

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Before Ponyboy participates in the big rumble against the Socs, he puts extra grease in his hair and thinks to himself,

What kind of world is it where all I have to be proud of is a reputation for being a hood, and greasy hair? I don't want to be a hood, but even if I don't steal things and mug people and get boozed up, I'm marked lousy. Why should I be proud of it? Why should I even pretend to be proud of it? (Hinton, 113)

Ponyboy is lamenting the way that society in general judges lower-class individuals, who lack opportunities and present themselves in a certain way that is considered countercultural to the norm. Pony resents the fact that society unfairly judges and labels him as "lousy" without fully understanding his views, beliefs, personality, or situation. In the novel, Pony is depicted as an intelligent, sympathetic, and responsible young man, who is forced to deal with enormous social pressure and subjected to society's ills. Pony has no desire to be categorized as "hood" and desperately wishes to be judged on his merits and personality. Since Pony lacks material wealth, the only things that he can be proud of are his greasy hair and intimidating reputation, which are traits he does not necessarily desire or take pride in. Overall, Ponyboy is lamenting how society unfairly labels him as "lousy" based on his outward appearance and wishes to avoid being inaccurately categorized as a criminal "hood."

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One of the major themes of this book deals with societies prejudice and judgment of others appearance. In this chapter of the book they are preparing for the rumble with the Socs. Ponyboy wonders, "What kind of a world is it where all I have to be proud of is a reputation for being a hood, and greasy hair? I don't want to be a hood, but even if I don't steal things and mug people and get boozed up, I'm marked lousy." Ponyboy is commenting that no matter what his actions are or no matter what kind of person he really is, society just sees his greasy hair and labels him as a hood, so this is all he has to be proud of because it is all he has. He is shown throughout this book to be more sensitive and intelligent than all of his greaser friends. However, society sees them all the same. In these lines, Ponyboy criticises a society that would be so prejudice and leave someone so little in terms of hope.

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