Towards the end of the novel, Ponyboy is able to see his unrequited crush on Cherry as a more mature relationship, less an unattainable romance and more of a friendship. She expresses frustration when he accuses her of showing him charity, as if she feels guilty for his lesser economic circumstances. But he then asks her if she can see the sunset from her wide of town. She replies she can, and they he tells her he can see it just the same from where he lives, using the moment to show a level of maturity in appreciating that their differences of class and upbringing are really inconsequential in the greater scheme of things.
Pony got tougher at the end of the book, he threatens to harm the Socs with a broken bottle that he wouldn't of done in the beginning of the book.