Why is Darry a good guardian for Ponyboy and Sodapop? Provide evidence and elaboration.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Darry is a good guardian for Sodapop and Ponyboy because he sets boundaries for them and truly loves his brothers. He has also put aside his plans for college and gone to work at two jobs in order to support his brothers so they can remain together as a family.


  • In Chapter 3, when Ponyboy stays out until 2:00 a.m., Darry becomes very worried; he reacts with too much emotion, yelling at his little brother and even striking him. This reaction causes Pony to run off. Darry feels guilty about this incident because when he sees Pony, his eyes beg Pony to forgive him.
  • In Chapter 5, when Johnny and Pony go to Dally for help, Pony does ask about his brothers, Sodapop and Darry. Dally gives him a letter from his brother Sodapop which says that Darry is sorry that he hit Pony because he was upset. He also writes, "Darry hasn't got the slightest notion where you're at and it is nearly killing him."
  • In Chapter 6, after Ponyboy and Johnny rescue children from the burning church, Johnny dies and Pony is burned. When Darry sees his injured brother after Pony awakens once he is home, "his eyes are pleading." At first Ponyboy misinterprets Darry's intense emotions:

Darry hollered at me all the time... he didn't give a hang about me.... Suddenly I realized, horrified, that Darry was crying. He didn't make a sound, but tears were running down his cheeks. I hadn't seen him cry in years, not even when Mom and Dad had been killed. 

"Oh Pony, I thought we'd lost you… like we did mom and dad…" 

  • Pony recalls the funeral for his parents and remembers the same look in his oldest brother's eyes; therefore, he realizes that Darry loves him.


  • Sodapop gets caught in the middle of Ponyboy and Darry:

"Golly, you two, it's bad enough having to listen to it, but when you start trying to get me to take sides..." Tears welled up in his eyes, "We're all we've got left."

  • Darry is sorry for such mistakes with his brothers and tries to defend them against others.
  • During the days that Ponyboy lies ill, Sodapop and Darry have sat by his bedside.
  • When the gangs meet, Darry joins in to help his brothers defend the Greasers. He tries to protect Ponyboy's innocence.