Ponyboy and Sodapop have learned to live without the nurturing of their parents, who were killed in a crash. They rely on older brother Darry for guidance and adult supervision. Johnny has learned to live without the support of his parents, who fight all the time. He discovered through a beating at the hands of the Socs that a knife was necessary for protection. Dallas lives alone; his parents are not a part of his life. More than any of the boys, he has learned the life of the mean streets--first in New York and then in Tulsa. Dally, like Two-Bit, resorts to small-time thievery when necessary. All of the boys find the support they need from one another, and they come to each other's rescue when the need arises.