Why does Darry want Pony to have a better life than him in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Darry was well on his way to earning a college football scholarship when his parents were killed. The only way he was able to keep his younger brothers from being separated was to take on the responsibility of becoming the adult head of the household. So, Darry gave up his college future, working two jobs to keep the family together. In Sodapop, who quit school and pumps gas, Darry already realizes that his middle brother will never make it out of their neighborhood. But Darry sees that Ponyboy has a chance to leave the greaser lifestyle behind him if he can stay on the straight and narrow. Pony is intelligent, makes good grades, loves to read and write, and runs track. Sensitive and introspective, Pony--like Darry--is not a greaser at heart. Pony's friends all realize that he is out of place with the others, and they--like Darry--have high hopes that he will graduate from high school and become the first of their group to head to college. Darry doesn't like working long hours, and he wants Pony to enjoy a better life than he is forced to endure.