"We needed Johnny as much as he needed the gang.  And for the same reason.” What do you think Pony means, and what is the reason?

Expert Answers
misslacey eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think what Ponyboy means by this is that Johnny needs the gang for support, to feel like he has a family system, which he would not otherwise have because his parents do not care for him the way that they should. Likewise, the Greasers need Johnny, need each other for that same reason. Even though Johnny is soft, the "puppy dog" of the group, he is there because he and all of the Greasers share the same circumstances: they are poor, lack parental support and feel like they don't fit in at school. I think this quote, in particular, speaks especially to the book's title. They are together because they are all "outsiders." They find togetherness and are bound by the fact that they would otherwise be alone if it were not for one another. The reason is love and togetherness. If not for the Greasers, where else would Johnny or any of them find that?
ik9744 | Student

They need each other as much as they need themselves.