In "The Outsiders", why does Pony have a problem with Johnny's idea to disguise themselves?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 4, Ponyboy and Johnny flee from their hometown and travel to Windrixville, where they hide out in an abandoned church on Jay Mountain. In chapter 5, Johnny goes to the store to buy supplies and returns to the abandoned church with a bottle of peroxide. Ponyboy panics as Johnny flicks open his knife and explains to Pony that the police have their descriptions. He tells Ponyboy, "We're gonna cut our hair, and you're gonna bleach yours" (Hinton, 61). Ponyboy initially refuses to allow Johnny to alter his appearance, and says, "Oh, no! . . . No, Johnny, not my hair!" ( 61). Ponyboy takes pride in his long, silky hair because it is what distinguishes him as a greaser. Pony's hair is a significant part of his identity, and he refers to it as his "trademark." Johnny then explains to Ponyboy that it is better than having the police cut their hair, which is something that they will definitely do once they catch them. Johnny finally convinces Ponyboy to let him cut and bleach his hair, which makes Ponyboy miserable and depressed.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 5 of "The Outsiders" Johnny and Ponyboy are on the run from the police because Johnny killed a Soc while trying to protect Ponyboy.  Johnny decides they need a disguise.  He buys peroxide and tells Ponyboy he must cut his hair and dye it blonde.  Ponyboy has a big problem with this.  He tells Johnny he doesn't want to cut his hair because it took him a long time to grow it just the way he wanted it.  He is very proud of his long hair and he doesn't want to change it in any way.  He finally agrees and Johnny cuts Ponyboys hair with a knife, then Ponyboy cuts Johnny's hair.

lkelley | Student

The long hair of the Greasers is a symbolic representation of who they are and what they stand for.  Ponyboy does not want to cut his hair because it is all he has left of the life that they have left.  He believes that it is the hair that makes him who he is, a Greaser.  The long hair of the Greasers is part of the theme of judging others.  It is through much inner thought that Ponyboy finds that there is more to people than the obvious.  This is one part of the novel that supports S.E. Hinton's theme that people may not be what they seem.

texasmade | Student

Because ponyboy does not want to cut and dye his long greasy hair.

razgriz | Student

Pony Boy has a problem with Johnny’s disguise idea because he doesn’t want to cut his hair that he took so long to grow and that it symbolizes that he is a greaser.

flashinglights | Student

because he doesn't want to lose his hair and not look "tuff" anymore