At this point in the book, we learn that Johnny is intelligent and thoughtful.
Johnny is interested in reading and poetry. Ponyboy never realized how smart Johnny was, because he did not typically get good grades.
Ponyboy shares the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” with Johnny, and is pleased that Johnny likes it. He knows that Johnny is sensitive, like he is.
"… you ain't like any of the gang. I mean, I couldn't tell Two-Bit or Steve or even Darry about the sunrise and clouds and stuff. I couldn't even remember that poem around them. I mean, they just don't dig….” (ch 5, p. 78)
Johnny likes to read Gone with the Wind, listen to Robert Frost poems, and talk about sunsets. Ponyboy is surprised to find that Johnny is not like the rest of the gang. He is often misjudged, because he did not do well in school. Given enough time, Johnny can be quite deep.
The revelations about Johnny's character in this part of the book show us again that you can't judge a book by its cover. Sometimes a rough exterior hides a gentle heart.