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How does Ponyboy demonstrate selflessness in The Outsiders?

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"Selfless" is an interesting word to use to describe Ponyboy, as he is often more concerned with the needs of his friends and his brothers than with his own needs. This personality trait complements his sensitive nature and his natural empathy, making him a very memorable protagonist.

Ponyboy shows selflessness in his relationships, especially in his friendship with Johnny and his connection to his two brothers. Ponyboy's friendship with Johnny is unconditional, which is a demonstration of selflessness. For example, though Ponyboy knows that Johnny most admires Dallas, he feels no jealousy nor envy over their special connection to each other. With his brothers, Ponyboy's selflessness is more complicated; he loves Sodapop for always standing up for him when Darry is overly strict, but Ponyboy forgives Darry his disciplinary style the moment Ponyboy realizes that Darry's manner does not indicate an absence of love. Ponyboy's openness to forgiveness and his inability to carry a grudge against Darry also show his selflessness.

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There are several scenes that depict Pony's selfless personality throughout the novel. After Johnny stabs and kills Bob Sheldon, Ponyboy acts selflessly by traveling to Windrixville and hiding out with Johnny. Although Ponyboy has no reason to hide from the police, he decides to be there for his friend and hide out with Johnny in the abandoned church. When Ponyboy learns that there are several children trapped inside of the burning church, Ponyboy risks his safety by entering the building to save the children. Fortunately, Ponyboy is unharmed and is able to save all of the children that were trapped inside. Towards the end of the novel, Ponyboy again displays his selfless personality after reading Johnny's letter. Ponyboy takes into consideration the feelings of hundreds of other boys who are experiencing similar struggles before he decides to the write the novel. Overall, Ponyboy has empathy for others and selflessly takes it upon himself to help people in need.

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