Ponyboy Curtis is a perceptive, conflicted teenager, who is extremely loyal and selfless. In the story, Ponyboy gains significant insight into the lives of rival Soc members after having an enlightening conversation with Cherry Valance. Cherry Valance shatters Ponyboy's preconceived notions of how Socs are supposed to act and communicate with others. After speaking with Cherry, Pony illustrates his perceptive personality by analyzing the differences in their social groups and saying,
That's why we're separated...It's not money, it's feeling—you don't feel anything and we feel too violently (34).
As the story progresses, Pony attempts to see the Soc members as typical teenagers dealing with their own set of problems. Pony's perceptive personality allows him to sympathize with rival gang members. Pony once again demonstrates his perceptive personality by saying,
It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and, the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset (35).
Pony is also a conflicted teenager, who understands that there are fundamental differences between him and the other members of the Greasers but chooses to remain in the gang. Pony recognizes that no matter what he does, people will unfairly judge him based on his appearance and social class. Although Pony is close friends with the members of his gang, he does not want their negative reputation. Pony expresses his conflicted feelings before the big rumble by saying,
What kind of world is it where all I have to be proud of is a reputation for being a hood, and greasy hair? I don't want to be a hood, but even if I don't steal things and mug people and get boozed up, I'm marked lousy. Why should I be proud of it? Why should I even pretend to be proud of it? (113).
Pony is also a loyal friend, who is willing to sacrifice his freedom and well-being to help other members of the Greaser gang. Ponyboy demonstrates his selfless, loyal personality by skipping town with Johnny and hiding out with him in the abandoned church. Pony could have easily left Johnny on his own and returned home following Bob Sheldon's murder but chose to remain by Johnny's side. Pony once again demonstrates his loyalty by deciding to participate in the big rumble against the Socs despite being severely injured and continually visiting Johnny in the hospital.