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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can think of two things in the book that might represent Ponyboy's biggest fear.  The first one is late in the book.  Ponyboy has been in and out of consciousness after Johnny and Dally have both died.  In his delirium Ponyboy asks for multiple members of his family.  Darry tells Ponyboy that he asked for mom, dad, and Soda.  That information causes Ponyboy to feel some guilt because he isn't sure if he had asked for Darry.  Ponyboy fears that Darry will think Ponyboy doesn't care about him.  

Something in his tone of voice made me look at him. Mostly for Soda. Did I ask for Darry at all, or was he just saying that?

"Darry..." I didn't know quite what I wanted to say. But I had a sick feeling that maybe I hadn't called for him while I was delirious, maybe I had only wanted Sodapop to be with me.

The other main fear that I think this question might be referring to is Ponyboy's fear of having the rest of his family split up.  In chapter seven, Ponyboy reads about himself, Johnny, and other Greasers in the paper.  The article closes with a comment about how the Curtis brothers should be allowed to keep living together.  Ponyboy quickly grasps that there is a very real possibility that he and his brothers could be split up and placed in a boys' home.  The thought terrifies Ponyboy. 

The meaning of that last line finally hit me. "You mean..." -- I swallowed hard -- "that they're thinking about putting me and Soda in a boys' home or something?"

Steve was carefully combing back his hair in complicated swirls. "Somethin' like that."

I sat down in a daze. We couldn't get hauled off now. Not after me and Darry had finally got through to each other, and now that the big rumble was coming up and we would settle this Soc-Greaser thing once and for all. Not now, when Johnny needed us and Dally was still in the hospital and wouldn't be out for the rumble.

"No," I said out loud, and Two-Bit, who was scraping the egg off the clock, turned to stare at me.

"No what?"

"No, they ain't goin' to put us in a boys' home."