What advice does Dally give Ponboy on the way to the hospital?

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gkopf's profile pic

gkopf | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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After the rumble, Dally and Ponyboy head to the hospital.  On the way, Dally starts rambling, and Ponyboy says that he doesn't completely understand what Dally is trying to tell him:

"I was crazy, you know that, kid? Crazy for wantin' Johnny to stay outa trouble, for not wantin' him to get hard. If he'd been like me he'd never have been in this mess. If he'd got smart like me he'd never have run into that church. That's what you get for helpin' people. Editorials in the paper and a lot of trouble.... You'd better wise up, Pony... you get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you..."

Johnny has been dying in the hospital, and the greasers had just been through a rumble.  Dally starts to unravel.  The pressures that he faces each day and the consequences of his decisions drive him further to the edge. Ultimately this leads to his suicide by police gunfire.  

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iamkaori's profile picture

iamkaori | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) Salutatorian

Posted on

"That's what you get for helpin' people. Editorials in the paper and a lot of trouble (...) You'd better wise up, Pony (...) you get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you"

These are the words that Dally gives Ponyboy on their way to the hospital. This quote basically means that Ponyboy should become stronger and more responsible, and no one can hurt him.

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