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As Ponyboy misses his friend Johnny, he reflects on how much Johnny meant to all the gang. What was really special about Johnny was his ability to listen and care about his friends' problems:
"Johnny was something more than a buddy to all of us [...] A guy that'll really listen to you, listen and care about what you're saying, is something rare" (178).
Ponyboy appreciates the fact that Johnny, despite all of his difficult problems at home, was probably the least self-centered guy in their gang. His rare quality of genuinely caring for his friends and being a comfort and caring listener for them all makes Johnny very special indeed. After realizing just important Johnny was to them all, Ponyboy picks up Johnny's copy of Gone with the Wind and discovers Johnny's final letter. This poignant scene in the novel reinforces the over-arching theme of the importance of friendship.
I'm not sure my copy corresponds to your p. 178. I see in mine that Ponyboy picks up Gone with the Wind and sees Johnny's note. He basically tells Pony to tell Dally that saving the kids in the church was worth it. This note is sort of a small elegy to himself. Johnny talks about the beauty of sunsets and how he knows Pony will surpass his status as "greaser" in his life.
well its in chapter twelve some where.....
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