What kind of person is Ponyboy in The Outsiders?

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy is an interesting character, as are his brothers, because to outsiders, they appear to be nothing more than greasers, but in actuality, the boys were living a fairly normal, middle class existence until they lost their parents.  Ponyboy's oldest brother, Darry, was a good student and great high school football player, but had to abandon his education to take care of his brothers.  Darry has projected his hopes for a better life onto Ponyboy, who is a good student; they primary conflict between those two relates to Darry's pressuring Ponyboy to make curfew and get his homework done well.  Ponyboy has a real interest in and affinity for literature, both reading and writing it, and other things of the spirit; he is observant, and wonders sometimes about the sunset on his side of town looking the same as the sunset on the affluent side of town.  Johnny has kind of an artistic side to him as well, and the boys entertain themselves reading "Gone With the Wind" when they are hiding in the church after Bob's murder. 

zumba96 | Student

He is a hard worker especially in school and is a great track athlete. Although he loves the guys in the gang, he does not like to fight. 

ik9744 | Student

Ponyboy works hard in school and loves everyone in the gang but he doesn’t like fighting.

leemrose | Student

Ponyboy is the Main Character, and First Person narrator of The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton. First Person means that he is the one who is telling the story. As such, we get an "insider's view" of what he is thinking as well as what he describes about the other characters. In this "Coming of Age" novel, this is the way that the author lets us know that Ponyboy is a sensitive, caring, and artistic young man. Most importantly, we experience the changes that he - and most adolescents - go through as he learns to deal with the many hardships that life presents to him. As an orphan who is being raised by his older brother, you can imagine that the hardships are many. Too, as a member of a teenage gang, we learn that he is both striving to belong within a group of his peers as they deal with a rival group of upperclass boys, but that he is also willing to "do the right thing" when it becomes necessary to stand up for what is right.