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At the beginning of the book, Pony just hates the Socs. As the book goes on, he stops hating them. This is because he gets to know a few of them. Particularly, he gets to know Cherry and he also has some talks with Randy that help him to understand the Socs better. Through talking to those two, he understands that the Socs are not much different from himself and his Greaser friends.
I'm not sure what you're asking about school... Pony is getting harassed by the Socs for being connected to Bob's death. He is also depressed about Johnny's death and his own situation. So he is starting to fail in school. But the end of the book implies that he has found new interest in school and motivation in his own life. He will write his theme and will "stay gold" himself.
For the better part of this novel, Ponyboy Curtis believes that Socs are simply stuck-up rich kids who get "all the breaks in life" because their parents have money. As the novel progresses, however, Ponyboy begins to see the darker side of affluent life. He begins to understand that, even as hard as his life is, the Socs have their own troubles associated with lives of power and influence. Ponyboy gains a particular understanding of these problems after having a conversation with Randy in his car -- when asked: "What did 'Mr. Super-Soc' want?" by a fellow greaser, he responds with, "He's not a Soc. He's just a guy who wanted to talk." It is this perspective that Ponyboy carries into the end of this novel -- Socs and Greasers, no matter how different, both have their own troubles, as Cherry Valance once pointed out to him.
In the beginning of the book Pony Boy has only been exposed to the negative aspects of the oppositional group the Socs. He sees them as having no problems, being wealthy and getting to drive fancy cars, having opportunities to go off to college, and their families in tact. They are also his enemies. They use knives to intimidate the Greasers and make fun of them. He does not identify them as having any emotions other than hatred for the Greasers.
Later, Pony Boy meets Cherry, a Soc. She explains to him that they have problems just like the Greasers do. Pony Boy is not ready to understand this information yet. After Johnny dies and the Soc goes to visit Pony Boy, he begins to see things a little different. It does not all sink in at first, but Pony Boy comes to realize how life can have problems no matter which group one is a part of.
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