What happens when Pony comes home after his curfew in The Outsiders?

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dmack3434 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is the arrival home after curfew that serves to propel the rising action of S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders. When Ponyboy arrives home late after falling asleep in the park with his best friend Johnny, his brother Darry (who is his legal guardian since the death of his parents) loses his temper. An argument ensues, and Darry hits Ponyboy. Ponyboy runs out of the house to find Johnny. After Ponyboy regains his composure, the two start to walk home through the vacant lot, but they soon notice a blue mustang belonging to the Socs circling the park. They try to run but are surrounded by five Socs who, Ponyboy notices, are drunk. The Socs tell them they are trash and then one suggests they give Ponyboy a bath in the fountain. They grab Ponyboy and hold him under the water. When Ponyboy wakes up on the pavement next to the fountain, he sees the Soc Bob lying dead in a pool of blood. Ponyboy sees that Johnny has killed him, gets up to vomit, and then starts to panic. Johnny tells him he had no choice and that they would have killed Ponyboy. The other Socs ran away. They agree to find the Greaser Dally who they think can help. Dally gives them a gun and fifty dollars and tells them where they should go and hide out. They jump on a boxcar and start their journey. All of this action stems from arriving home after curfew.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy had a strict curfew on school nights which he routinely observed, knowing that he would have to deal with Darry if he came home late. Even on the Friday night when Pony first met Cherry and then was nearly drowned by her Soc boyfriend, Pony had every intention of returning home at a decent hour. He watched a double-feature but was later harrassed by Cherry's Soc friends. Johnny and Pony took a break afterward, and both boys fell asleep under the stars. When he awoke, Pony realized it was well after curfew and Darry would be up waiting for him. An angry Darry screamed at Pony, Soda became involved, and soon "Darry wheeled around and slapped me so hard that it knocked me against the door." Darry had never hit Pony before, and Pony turned and ran from the house. Darry tried to apologize, but Pony soon joined Johnny and they headed for the park to cool off. They would soon be accosted by a carload of Socs and a boy would die as a result.

iloveenglish7 | Student

Darry was reading the newspaper, SodaPop was asleep on the coach and he was like where have you been it s like 2.00 in the morning ( I don't remember the time exactly) and slaps PonyBoy and then PonyBoy runs off and Darry calls after him. After that PonyBoy goes to the lot and gets Johnny ( they fell asleep under the stars before he went home.) and says "let's run way" and he said okay.