Why do Paul and Darry go to the rumble in S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders?
Paul is supporting his friend Bob, and Darry is supporting the greasers and Johnny.
The reason for the rumble is revenge. The Socs want revenge for Bob’s death, and the greasers want revenge for what happened to Johnny. Darry may not seem like a hard-core fighter, but he will support his gang. Pony says Darry likes to take on two at a time in a rumble. Clearly, Darry is a strong fighter.
Darry and Paul know each other; they used to be friends of a sort because they played football together. Because of this past, they end up fighting each other. At this point, one's identity as a greaser or Soc is the most important thing. Paul decides to take Darry, and Darry believes he can take Paul. Pony watches the interaction between them.
He was looking at Darry with an expression I couldn't quite place, but disliked. Contempt? Pity? Hate? All three? Why? Because Darry was standing there representing all of us, and maybe Paul felt only contempt and pity and hate for greasers (Chapter 36)?
Paul Holden was a football player. Pony comments that neither of his brothers have ever lost a fight. Paul makes the first punch, which is so hard that Pony says anyone other than Darry would have gone down. The rumble then begins.
Pony always says Darry is the responsible one. He had to get a job and take care of his two brothers since their parents are dead. Even though he tries to stay on the straight and narrow, Darry can obviously handle himself in a fight. Darry’s involvement in the rumbles shows greasers stand up for each other, and as Pony says, greasers defending greasers is believed to be the most important thing.