What value does Ponyboy find in The poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost?

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When Ponyboy initially recites Robert Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay," he is watching the beautiful, inspiring sunset while hiding out in Windrixville. Pony tells Johnny that he does not understand the poem's meaning but is attracted to its imagery, which corresponds to the amazing sunset. At the end of the novel, Ponyboy reads Johnny's final letter, which explains the meaning of the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay." In the letter, Johnny tells Ponyboy that Robert Frost is speaking about innocence and encourages him to always "stay gold" by cherishing the positive moments in life. After reading Johnny's letter, Ponyboy is inspired to share his message with the hundreds of other boys in America living difficult lives on the streets. With Johnny's help, Pony finds inspiration in the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and encourages other adolescents to cherish the positive moments in life while retaining some of their childhood innocence. By reminding the countless adolescents struggling day-to-day to cherish sunsets and "stay gold," Ponyboy hopes to make a positive difference in the world.

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     "Nothing Gold Can Stay" is a poem by Robert Frost.  Ponyboy learned this poem in English class.  He remembers it when he is watching the sunrise with Johnny, while they are hiding out in the church in Windrixville.  He recites the poem, but feels as though he is missing the meaning.

     Later on, after Johnny tells Ponyboy to "stay gold", Ponyboy finds the meaning in the poem.  The poem reflects the boys' loss of innocence in their harrowing experiences as Greasers.  After the murder, the boys are irrevocably changed.  Ponyboy realizes that Johnny wants Ponyboy to continue to see the good in the world.  In Johnny's letter to Pony, he expresses that he believes that though he knows he will die from his injuries, it was worth it to save the innocent children.  He is seeing the good. 

     In "Nothing Gold Can Stay", the speaker refers to Eden, or the biblical loss of innocence.  When Pony grasps this meaning, he decides to write his theme for English class, which is the story told in the novel. Pony is thinking of all the young men he knows who have suffered and have been deprived of seeing the good, the innocence, or the "gold" in the world.  Through his writing, he hopes to change that.

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