What did Randy tell Ponyboy at the Tasty Freeze in The Outsiders?  

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 7 at the Tasty Freeze, Randy tells Ponyboy that he has no intention of fighting in the rumble, and he expresses his unhappiness over the recent occurrences.

When Two-Bit and Ponyboy stop at the Tasty Freeze to buy a Coke and relax, they see a Mustang pull up and Pony sees Randy Adderson and the tall boy who had nearly drowned him. Hatred floods Pony; he blames them for Bob's death, and Johnny's suffering. Randy and the other boy are also responsible for Soda and Pony's possibly being sent into a boys' home.

"I hated them as bitterly and as contemptuously as Dally Winston hated," Ponyboy observes.

Randy asks Ponyboy to get into his car where he speaks privately to him. He asks Pony why he helped those kids in the fire, adding that he would not have helped anyone. Pony responds that he does not know that.

"I'm not going to show at the rumble tonight," Randy said slowly.

He adds that he is "sick of all this"; his friend Bob is dead now, and Pony's friend might die. Randy sees the futility in the rumble:

You can't win, even if you whip us. You'll still be where you were before-at the bottom. And we'll still be the lucky ones with all the breaks. So it doesn't do any good, the fighting and the killing. (Ch. 7)

Randy also tells Pony that he is going to leave town. He cannot stay if he does not fight because he will be marked as "chicken." On the other hand, if he participates in the rumble, he'll hate himself. Pony tells Randy, "I'd help you if I could," as he realizes what Cherry meant when she said, "Things are rough all over."

"What'd he want?" Two-Bit asked. "What'd Mr. Super-Soc have to say?"
"He ain't a Soc," I said, "he's just a guy. He just wanted to talk." (Ch.7)

Ponyboy understands that both gangs face the same dilemmas. In fact, there really is not that much difference between them.