Why is The Outsiders character of Ponyboy good or bad?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, Ponyboy Curtis has his bad habits as well. First among them is that he admittedly smokes too much. His cigarette habit does not mesh with his athletic pursuits at school--he has run track previously--and he gets winded quickly during his recovery after the fire. Darry warns him, half jokingly, that if "You smoke more than a pack today and I'll skin you." He is constantly reminded about his lack of common sense. Like many of the other greasers, he carries a chip on his shoulder about his social, economic and family status. Although he doesn't like to fight as much as many of the other greasers, he willingly participates in the rumble.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like everybody, Pony has his good sides and his bad sides.  Since he is the protagonist, I think he ends up being more good than he is bad.

Perhaps the clearest way in which Pony is a good guy is in the fact that he tries to see other people's points of view.  You can see this most clearly in his dealing with the Socs.  When he meets Cherry, for example, or when he meets Randy, you can see him really caring about them and wanting to understand what their lives are like.  If he were bad, I do not think he would have bothered.