What challenges did Ponyboy face in The Outsiders?

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Ponyboy experiences numerous challenges and obstacles throughout the story. After losing his parents in a car accident, Pony is raised by his domineering older brother, Darry , who struggles to make ends meet and continually argues with him. Since Pony resides on the poorer East Side and is a member...

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Ponyboy experiences numerous challenges and obstacles throughout the story. After losing his parents in a car accident, Pony is raised by his domineering older brother, Darry, who struggles to make ends meet and continually argues with him. Since Pony resides on the poorer East Side and is a member of the Greaser gang, he suffers from classism and is discriminated by upper-class adolescents from the West Side. Pony continually laments about being "marked lousy" simply because he is a Greaser and desires to be judged by his personality and character instead of his appearance and social class. Pony must also survive in a hostile environment, where Socs continually jump Greasers whenever they are alone or outnumbered. After a group of Socs attempts to drown him, Pony skips town with Johnny after he kills Bob Sheldon, and the two friends end up hiding out in Windrixville. Pony also suffers a serious head injury during the rumble and is traumatized after witnessing the deaths of his two close friends, Johnny and Dally.

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One of the challenges he faces is the fact that his parents are dead and his oldest brother is supporting the family. They struggle to make ends meet and Pony knows this. He also feels the weight of the class separation between he and his "greaser" friends and family and the "socs," the kids with the money and the connections. He sees the kids around him who get into trouble with the law, treat school like a joke, and even those like Darry who have everything they need to succeed but didn't have the money to take advantage of this hard work and talents.

Pony also faces the challenges that arise because he is with Johnny when he kills Bob and then sees Johnny do something heroic and end up dying. He worries about whether he will get in trouble for Bob's death and also struggles with seeing people close to him like Johnny and Dally die. It is difficult for him to see a way out of these troubles when it seems like everyone he knows ends up in the same boat.

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