The Outsiders

Examine Robert Frost's poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” What do you think the poem is saying? How does this apply to the characters in this novel? What does Johnny mean when he tells Ponyboy to “stay gold"?


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Johnny encourages Ponyboy not to waste his youth looking for things he does't have. Johnny gets rather "Zen" about life using Frost's poem as a metaphor. He tells Pony that life is fleeting and nothing is permanent hence "Nothing Gold can Stay". Johnny encourages Pony to see the goodness in people like Darry instead of wasting their relationship.