What are some characteristics of Johnny and Ponyboy found in chapters 5 and 6? 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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After the boys are attacked and Johnny kills Bob, the boyfriend of Cherry, Ponyboy and Johnny know that they must hide. They ask Dally Winston for help and he directs them to an abandoned church in the country. While hiding out, the boys demonstrate friendship, practicality, imagination, and great anxiety.

Ponyboy

  • Understanding and love - As he sits in the church, Ponyboy realizes that his brother Darry was harsh with him only because of his anxiety about him. 
  • Homesick, he thinks often of his brothers Sodapop and Darry.
  • Proud of his long, handsome hair, Ponyboy is miserable after having to cut and dye it.
  • He is creative and imaginative: "I like my books and clouds and sunsets."
  • By having Johnny read Gone with the Wind with him, Pony opens Johnny's mind to the beauty in life.
  • He appreciates the beauty of nature; he watches the sun rise. "It was beautiful."
  • Poetic and sensitive, Pony recites Robert Frost's poem, "Nothing Gold Will Stay."
  • Later, when Dally visits them, Ponyboy cannot tell Dally that he hates to shoot things when he mentions that his father took him hunting.
  • He is a hero along with Johnny as they rescue children from the burning church.

Johnny

  • He is a good friend to Ponyboy, apologizing for having to cut his hair, and he encourages him not to worry: "It will grow back... It's only hair."
  • He suffers from great anxiety for the murder of Bob. "I'm just a little bit spooky, I really don't know what's the matter. I'm just mixed up."
  • He, too, is homesick.
  • He is practical-minded and does not worry about smaller things like their haircuts, a fact that does not matter in this crisis.
  • He is perceptive. After he begins to read Gone with the Wind, Johnny analyzes the attributes of the Southern gentleman admiringly.
  • He displays his admiration for Dally, comparing him to a Southern gentleman.
  • He is frightened about what will happen to him since he has committed murder.
  • Through his reading and his conversations with Ponyboy, Johnny becomes more perceptive and appreciates nature for the first time. "I never noticed colors and clouds and stuff until you kept reminding me about them. It seems like they were never there before."
  • He is a good fighter and can "play it cool," but he is really sensitive. "That isn't a good way to be when you're a greaser," Ponyboy observes.
  • He wants everyone to get along. "He hated for any one of us to be mad at him," comments Ponyboy.
  • He is very emotional.
  • Johnny thinks of other people before considering himself. When the church catches fire, he heroically rescues children and suffers such injuries and burns that he dies.
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