Ponyboy is the novel's protagonist, and there are numerous events that Ponyboy plays a significant role in throughout the novel. The novel begins when a group of Socs jumps Ponyboy in Chapter 1. After, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally sneak into the drive-ins where they meet two Soc girls, Cherry and Marcia. After sharing a connection with Cherry, Ponyboy and Johnny hang out in a vacant lot and discuss the social issues of their city. Ponyboy returns home past his curfew, and his older brother, Darry, slaps him in the face. Ponyboy runs out of the house and meets up with Johnny. While they are hanging out at a local park, five Socs approach them and attempt to drown Ponyboy in the park's fountain. Ponyboy passes out, and when he wakes up, Johnny tells him that he's stabbed and killed a Soc. Ponyboy runs away to Windrixville with Johnny, where they stay in an abandoned church. Ponyboy and Johnny become close friends and bond over the novel Gone With the Wind. Dally comes to visit them and takes them out to eat. When they return to their hideout, they see the church on fire. Ponyboy and Johnny enter the burning church and save several children who are trapped inside. Johnny ends up getting hurt in the burning church, and Ponyboy visits him at the hospital. While Johnny is in the hospital, Ponyboy participates in a huge rumble against the Socs. Ponyboy gets kicked in the head and suffers a concussion. Following the rumble, Johnny and Dally both die and Ponyboy suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He begins to fail his classes and argues with Darry continually. At the end of the novel, Sodapop convinces Ponyboy and Darry to stop fighting, and Ponyboy decides to write the novel The Outsiders in order to tell the story of his friends' tragic lives. Ponyboy matures and develops his perspective on life throughout the novel by interacting with both the Socs and Greasers.