Ponyboy has always thought that Darry doesn't like him until he sees Darry cry in the hospital. I Darry loves Ponyboy so much, why does he treat him so harshly?
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Darry is simply just worried about Pony. Any slip and social services would tear his family apart. Like any parent, Darry worries about his "child"/brother. He puts harsh boundaries on him to keep him safe and preserve his innocence as long as possible.