Ponyboy says "I had taken the long way around, but I was finally home. To stay." How could Ponyboy's experiences contribute to this comment?
It has been a month of self-discovery for young Ponyboy. He has learned many things about himself, his family, his friends and about his supposed enemies. He has suffered personal loss through the deaths of his best friend, Johnny; and his greaser pal, Dallas Winston, and the Soc, Bob Sheldon. He has been separated from his brothers and finally, by book's end, sees that Darry does not hate him but only wants what's best for him. Pony has witnessed that there is little difference between the Socs and greasers, and that "things are rough all over." He has even discovered that friendship can exist between the two groups through his relationships with Cherry and Randy. He sees that violence does not solve problems; and that justice sometimes prevails when he is exonerated from guilt in Bob's death and when his family is allowed to remain together. Being hailed a hero does not ease the pain of Johnny's death, but he also finds that he has not been completely hardened by the terrible chain of events. When he is finally able to face up to what has happened and begins to tell the story in his English essay, Ponyboy finds that he has come full-circle, and he can resume living again.