In chapter 1 of The Outsiders, Ponyboy is walking home alone after seeing a movie. He is thinking about how different his two brothers are. Soda is the fun and happy brother, while Darry is the brother with all the responsibility. Pony compares Darry to their father, who along with their mother have died, leaving the three boys alone. When some of the members of the Socs come along and rough Pony up a bit, Darry and Soda appear and help him.
Darry is six-feet-two, and broad-shouldered and muscular. He has dark-brown hair that kicks out in front and a slight cowlick in the back-just like Dad's-but Darry's eyes are his own. He's got eyes that are like two pieces of pale blue-green ice. They've got a determined set to them, like the rest of him. He looks older than twenty-tough, cool, and smart. He would be real handsome if his eyes weren't so cold. He doesn't understand anything that is not plain hard fact. But he uses his head.
Darry has had to grow up fast. He has the responsibility of taking care of his two younger brothers and trying to keep them all together. Darry doesn't have the time to be a carefree young man. He doesn't want Pony to fight anymore and he feels like he has to be firm with Pony to keep him out of trouble. Pony thinks that Darry doesn't care about him, but he couldn't be more wrong. Pony comes to know exactly how much Darry cares for him.