What are some of Ponyboy's dreams or goals in The Outsiders?

Expert Answers info

Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,282 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Ponyboy compares himself to Pip in Dickens's novel Great Expectations because, like Pip, he is born into low social standing, but he wants to grow up to be more refined. Ponyboy hates that other people, including the members of the Socs, look down on him when, for example, he uses a switchblade for a dissection in biology class. Still, he has the goal of doing well in school and finding something better. He is a dreamer and relishes sunsets, reading novels, and going to the movies alone. By the end of the book, his goal is to turn the story of what happened to him and to Johnny into a book to let other people know about the experiences they went through and to let the world know that even Greasers have dreams. 

Another of Ponyboy's goals is to remain with his brothers, Sodapop and Darry. Though Ponyboy initially experiences a great deal of friction with Darry, his older brother, by the end of the novel, he realizes that he loves Darry and that Darry truly cares about him. Darry is only tough on him because he wants Ponyboy to achieve something in life. 

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,472 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

While Ponyboy and Johnny are lying on their backs daydreaming about a place with no Greasers or Socs in Chapter 3, Ponyboy mentions that living in the country would be perfect. Ponyboy says that he would love to relax underneath a tree and read. Pony dreams that he would have a yellow dog, and Sodapop would get to ride his horse, Mickey Mouse, in as many rodeos as he wanted. Pony also dreams that Darry would lose his cold, hard look, and that his parents would still be alive. In the country, Johnny would come live with Ponyboy's family, and the rest of the gang would visit them on the weekends. Ponyboy even dreams that Dally would see that there is some good in the world after all.

Ponyboy's short-term goal is to get back into shape and become a track star on his school's team. He also begins to write the novel The Outsiders in order to show other lost, depressed kids that there is still good in the world. Ponyboy's overarching personal goal is to spread the message of hope to kids living rough lives and to show others that they shouldn't be so quick to judge less fortunate individuals.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial