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Johnny is the adolescent who is given no chance of success. His parents are abusive, and he has no permanent sanctuary to turn to. He is a lost boy without hope, so it is sad but not surprising when he dies young without feeling like he's lived much.
Two-Bit represent the adolescent slacker. Being as funny and witty as he is, he is obviously a smart young man, but his energy is focused on nothing productive, so he seeks trouble rather than success.
Darry was once the "budding adult" as the last poster described Ponyboy, but he is a victim of circumstance so now falls into the adolescent category of "what could have been". He is smart, talented, and goal oriented, but due to the loss of his parents and his responsibility to his brothers, it seems unlikely that Darry will fulfill his potential.
Pretty much everyone in this book is an adolescent, right? So think about how different they are and use various of them as "versions" of adolescence. For example:
- Dally shows the adolescent as the complete angry rebel. He is out of control because of his anger at the way he has been treated.
- Sodapop shows the adolescent as the free-spirited slacker. He does not seem to have any ambition beyond having fun.
- Ponyboy shows the adolescent as someone who does have problems and anger like Dally and does want to have fun like Sodapop but who, at the same time, has goals and ambitions beyond these things. So Ponyboy shows the adolescent as a budding adult.
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