The Outsiders

how did ponyboy feel about his life now that he understood darry?

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At the beginning of the novel, Ponyboy resents Darry for being too strict and always bothering him for not using his head. He recognizes the sacrifices that Darry has made to raise his two little brothers, but still thinks Darry just doesn't care for him at all.

But in Chapter 5, when Soda and Darry come to the hospital, Ponyboy has a revelation. He sees his oldest brother cry for the first time in years - he didn't even cry at their parents' funeral - and realizes that "Darry did care about me, maybe as much as he cared about Soda, and because he cared he was trying too hard to make something of me." He understands that Darry is terrified of losing another person he loves, and wonders "how I could ever have thought him hard and unfeeling."

In Chapter 10, when Ponyboy wakes up momentarily, he asks Soda if Darry is sorry he's sick. He also worries throughout the chapter that maybe he didn't ask for Darry while he was delirious, but Soda finally confirms that he did. This concern for Darry's feelings is a huge change from the way Ponyboy regarded his oldest brother in the beginning of the novel. Now he is worried that, because deep down he feels he can relate better to Soda, he might have left Darry out in his unconscious babbling.


Later in the book, when he understands Darry, Pony feels like he has a real family. Pony is more sympathetic to what Darry is going through and resolves to be more understanding.

he felt that he was going to be okay and go home.