The adolescents in both gangs are dealing with the way thy are perceived by the rest of the world and their true identities. We are told that the greasers are hoods who-
steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while.
And yet in the course of the novel we learn that they are so much more than this. They are fiercely loyal and protective of each other. Darry works so hard to give Ponyboy the opportunities to succeed at school, which he was denied. Dallas Winston is lost without Johnny to protect and nurture. Ponyboy strives to create his own identity. He wants to be popular like Soda but respected like Darry and Dally. It is when he takes on his own personality and his own initiative in saving the children from the fire that he finally becomes ‘somebody’: ironically the other gang members had seen his potential from the start-
Y'all were heroes from the beginning.