Ponyboy's age is the main attribute that makes him the best candidate to escape his rough neighborhood. Due to his youth and lack of grown-up responsibilities, he still has the ability to focus on school and to get into a college, whereas is brother Darry, though equal to him in intelligence, must bear the burden of raising his younger brothers. The rest of the Greasers lack the motivation and desire to leave. They are content with their place in society, are happy being Greasers, and truly are a fit in the neighborhood. Ponyboy and Darry, however, have visions of doing something better with their lives. That is why they both take school seriously and compete in school sports. They also have the qualities to fit in with the Socs. This is evidenced by the fact they both have made friends with Socs in the past, while most of the other Greasers wouldn't look at a Soc unless it was to start a fight with him. Unfortunately for Darry, he is stuck working a blue collar job all day to help Ponyboy keep his dream alive.