Ponyboy is not 100% committed to the lifestyle and philosophy followed by the rest of the greasers. He has an appreciation for beauty, art, education, and other refinements that are scoffed at by others in the gang. However, the other greasers recognize and respect these aspects of Ponyboy's personality and want him to remain true to himself.
Ponyboy struggles with how he can fit in with his friends and their activities and the consequences of them while still conforming to the inner motivations he feels. He finally achieves something of a balance between the two worlds as he defeats the Socs with the broken bottle but makes sure no one will be hurt by broken glass and as he recognizes how important his brothers are in his life.