Why doesn't Ponyboy feel scared when the Socs approach him? How is this a dramatic change from the Ponyboy we've seen up until this point?
This is a great book, I use it every year with my students. Ponyboy is a gentle loving and sensitive character. He doesn't like conflict and he tries to be polite and nice to people. In chapter twelve we observe a change in his personality. Pony and Two-Bit are approached by the Socs. Instead of reacting like he used to, he grabs a bottle and breaks it to prepare for a fight. He doesn't feel scared anymore because he has matured and grown though what he and Johnny went though.
This incident bothers Two-Bit because he don't want him to turn "hard" like the rest of the "greasers." Ponyboy is still angry at losing Johnny and he is tired of being pushed around by the Socs. He shrugs off the incident by saying he "didn't do anything anyone else wouldn't have done."
The radical change in Ponyboy is from a scared and frightened kid to a stronger, more confident young man.
Information on all of the characters from the novel can be found at the following link.