by S.E. Hinton
Please answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
1. Who are the Socs? Who are the Greasers?
Socs – rich, madras, mustangs, East side
Greasers – poor, t-shirts and jeans, West side
2. How is Pony’s relationship with Darry different from his relationship with Soda?
Darry is more like a father-figure to Pony. He loves him, but they argue a lot and he is hard on him. Soda and Pony are friends. He really understands Pony and they have a lot in common.
3. Why is the “gang” so important to Johnny?
He relies on them like family, because his father abuses him and his mother ignores him.
4. Do you think Darry loves Pony? Why does he treat Pony the way he does?
Yes, he does love Pony, He is hard on Pony because he doesn’t want him to get in trouble because then the boys would be split up. He wants Pony to have a good life.
5. Explain what Pony means when he says, “I lie to myself all the time”. Why do you think people lie to themselves?
He tries to convince himself something is truth. For example, he tries to convince himself that he doesn’t care that Darry doesn’t love him, but he does care whether or not Darry loves him.
1. Who are Cherry and Marcia?
Two Socy girls Pony and Johnny picked up at the drive-in.
2. Why is it strange that Cherry and Pony get along so well?
Socs and Greasers shouldn’t get along, but Cherry and Pony have a lot in common – sunsets, dreamers, school.
3. According to Two-Bit, what is a “fair fight”? Why don’t Socs fight fair?
A fair fight is between two people with no weapons. Socs don’t fight fair because they gang up on people and bring weapons (knives, rings, etc.).
4. What two rules do Greasers follow?
Two rules – Stick together. Don’t get caught.
5. Why doesn’t Pony want to refer to Soda as a “dropout”?
Soda dropped out in order to help the family. Pony doesn’t want people to think Soda is a loser.
6. In a few sentences, explain what happened to Johnny. What made it so terrible?
Johnny was jumped by the Socs and beaten so badly he almost died. The rings cut his face and left a lifelong scar. The Socs really scared him.
7. Explain what Cherry means when she says, “Things are rough all over”.
Cherry means to say that everyone has problems, they are just different kinds of problems.
1. What does Cherry explain as the difference between Greasers and Socs?
The biggest difference between Socs and Greasers is that Greasers are too emotional and Socs don’t feel enough.
2. What request does Cherry make to Pony? Is he understanding?
She doesn’t want Pony to talk to her at school and he shouldn’t expect her to speak to him. He understands; they are from different social classes.
3. Why do you think it is important to realize that Pony and Cherry “see the same sunset”?
Even though they come from different backgrounds, maybe they aren’t so different after all.
4. What happens when Pony comes home after his curfew? Why does this make Pony so upset?
Darry yells at him and hits him. Pony runs away. No one in his family has ever hit him before.
5. Why does Johnny like it better when his father is hitting him?
Because “at least he knows he’s there”. Johnny isn’t being ignored when he is beaten.
6. At the end of the chapter, how does the author foreshadow that bad things will happen?
“Things gotta get better. They couldn’t get worse. I was wrong.”
by S.E. Hinton
Please answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
1. Why is it important for Pony to point out that the Socs were “reeling pickled”?
When the Socs are drunk and in a “fighting mood”, they are extra dangerous.
2. In a few short sentences, explain what major event occurs in this chapter.
Johnny killed Bob Sheldon, one of the Socs. He was Cherry’s boyfriend and also the guy with the rings who beat Johnny. Johnny killed him in self defense; he was trying to drown Pony.
3. Why do Pony and Johnny turn to Dally for help? How does he help them?
They go to Dally because he’s been in messes before. He gives them a gun, money, clothes and a place to hide.
4. Where do the boys end up “hiding out”?
They hide in an abandoned church on top of Jay Mountain, in Windrixville.
5. Do you think Pony and Johnny should have run? Was there any other choice for them?
I don’t think they felt they had any other choice but to run. The police were biased against them and would have sided with the Socs regardless of the truth. (This is an opinion question, so this is just a sample answer).
1. How do Pony and Johnny disguise themselves?
They both cut their hair and Pony bleached his.
2. How do Pony and Johnny feel about the changes they have made?
They didn’t like the changes at all. They said, “It’s like being in a Halloween costume we can’t get out of.” It’s like they lost some of their pride.
3. What gift does Johnny bring Pony? Why does Johnny enjoy this gift as much or more than Pony?
The book, Gone With the Wind. Johnny enjoys learning about the Civil War. He especially likes the southern gentlemen. He calls them gallant and compares them to Dally. This shows how Johnny looks at Dally like a hero.
4. What does “gallant” mean? According to Johnny, how is Dally gallant?
Gallant means brave, heroic, charming. Dally is calm in the face of danger and willing to stick up for his buddies at all cost…” Johnny compares him to the part where the southern gentlemen “ride into sure death.”
5. What do you think the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” is about?
Nothing perfect lasts forever. Everything changes. Pony and Johnny are forced to grow up too fast. They are losing their innocence.
6. How does Johnny compare Ponyboy and his brothers to their parents?
Darry looks like his dad and acts like his mom. Soda looks like his mom (golden) and acts like his dad (carefree). Pony is not like either one.
7. What is a heater? Why does Dally have one?
A heater is a gun. Dally carries one to scare the Socs. It is NOT loaded.
8. Who is the spy for the greasers? Does this surprise you? Why or why not?
Cherry is the spy for the greasers. Yes, this did surprise me because I thought she would hate the greasers because Johnny killed her boyfriend. I was surprised to learn she would be willing to help them out. (This is an opinion question, so this is a sample answer).
by S.E. Hinton
Explain why each of the following quotes from Chapter 6 is significant to the story. Be specific and detailed in your response. Include who said the quote and why.
1. “She said she felt the whole mess was her fault, which it is, and that she’d keep up with what was comin’ off with the Socs in the rumble and would testify that the Socs were drunk and looking for a fight and that you fought back in self-defense.”
Dally talking to Pony and Johnny saying that Cherry is willing to stick up for Johnny and Pony. This is a big deal for a Soc to stick up for a Greaser.
2. “We’re goin’ back and turn ourselves in.”
Johnny says this to Dally. Since Cherry is willing to testify, he realizes he could plead self-defense. He wants to get Pony back to his family.
3. “’You don’t know what a few months in jail can do to you. Oh, blast it, Johnny’ – he pushed his white-blond hair back out of his eyes – ‘you get hardened in jail. I don’t want that to happen to you. Like it happened to me…”
Dally to Johnny because he doesn’t want him to end up in jail. It shows Dally truly cares for Johnny.
4. “I caught one quick look at his face; it was red-marked from falling embers and sweat-streaked, but he grinned at me. He wasn’t scared either. That was the only time I can think of when I saw him without that defeated, suspicious look in his eyes. He looked like he was having the time of his life.”
Pony is explaining what Johnny is like when they are saving the kids. This shows that Johnny is more good than bad.
5. “’I swear, you three are the bravest kids I’ve seen in a long time. First you and the black-haired kid climbing in that window, and then the tough-looking kid going back in to save him. Mrs. O’Briant and I think you were sent straight from heaven. Or are you just professional heroes or something?”
Jerry Wood (a teacher) is talking to Pony in the ambulance. He judges the boys for their actions not for their classifications. He sees them as heroes, not greasers.
6. “I let go of Soda and stood there for a minute. Darry didn’t like me….he had driven me away that night…he had hit me…Darry hollered at me all the time…he didn’t give a hang about me…Suddenly I realized, horrified that Darry was crying.”
Pony says this about Darry at the hospital. Darry was sorry for what he did. He loves Ponyboy and was worried about him.
7. “I had taken the long way around, but I was finally home. To stay.”
Pony says it at the hospital. After seeing Darry break down and all he has been through, he feels like all the bad stuff brought the brothers closer together.
8. Go back to Chapter 4. Pony says, “I figured I couldn’t get into any worse trouble than murder.” How does this foreshadow the events that take place in Chapter 6?
He thought things couldn’t get worse, but we should have realized it would get worse, and it did. His best friend might die…that’s worse.
by S.E. Hinton
1. What injuries did Johnny sustain at the church?
Johnny has a broken back (he can’t feel anything below his waist). He is suffering from shock and 3rd degree burns.
2. In your own words, summarize the newspaper article Steve and Two-Bit share with Pony.
They praised Pony, Johnny and Dally for being heroes. Pony finds out they might be separated and he and Soda could go to a boys’ home. It tells the events that led up to the murder and explains that Cherry and Randy stick up for them.
3. Why was Randy so surprised that Pony was featured in the paper? What was Pony’s response?
Randy can’t believe that a greaser risked his life to save the kids. Pony says it has nothing to do with him being a greaser, it’s the individual. He thinks Randy would have saved them too.
4. Randy says he won’t show to the rumble…why?
Randy won’t fight because he’s sick of the fighting. He says nobody can win. Bob, his best friend is dead. “Greasers will still be Greasers and Socs will still be Socs.”
5. Pony remembers when Cherry told him “things are rough all over”. How does this apply to the Greasers? To the Socs?
Greasers – poor, neglected, constantly jumped by Socs, people look down on them, they feel too much
Socs – feel too little, cold, put up a front, parents don’t discipline or say “no” to them, pressure to fit in and get good grades
1. Why do you think the doctor says, “Let them go in…it can’t hurt now.”?
Johnny is probably going to die anyway, so having visitors can’t hurt.
2. How does Johnny feel about facing death?
He used to think death would be a good way out. Now he’s scared; he hasn’t seen or experienced enough. “Sixteen is too young to die.”
3. How does Johnny’s attitude about his parents change?
Before Johnny wanted his parents to acknowledge him. Now they are acknowledging him and he wants nothing to do with them.
4. What does Two-Bit mean when he says, “ You know, the only thing that keeps Darry from bein’ a Soc is us.”?
If Darry had gone to college like he was supposed to, he would have a different life. He was smart, athletic and fit in more with the Socs. Because he has to raise his brothers, he is stuck in the life of a greaser.
5. Why does Pony ask Cherry about her view of the sunset?
Pony wants to remind Cherry that maybe they aren’t so different after all.
1. What is the mood like prior to the rumble? What are some of the things the Greasers are doing at this time?
Confident, pumped up. Playing poker, talking, getting dressed (want to show they are proud to be greasers), making fun of Socs, doing acrobatics, getting pumped up.
2. What are the different reasons that each member of the gang gives for why they like to fight?
Soda – it’s action, a contest (for fun), Steve – to stomp the other guy (for hatred). Darry – show off muscles (for pride). Two-Bit – cause everyone fights (conformity). Pony – no good reason to fight.
3. What is the difference between Pony’s gang and the other Greaser gangs that show up to the rumble?
They had leaders and were organized, Pony’s gang is just a group of buddies that stick together.
4. What are the “rules of the rumble”?
Nothing but fists, and the first to run lose.
5. Darry and a Soc, Paul, are chosen to start the rumble. Why? How do they know each other?
They are intimidating, both built tuff and taken seriously. They used to play football together.
6. Who shows up to the rumble unexpectedly? What did he do to get there?
Dally comes to the rumble after he threatens the nurse with Two-Bit’s switchblade.
7. Name five things that happen during the rumble, including who won.
Dally shows up, Pony gets kicked in the head, Brumly Boys break rules (uses pipe), greasers get minor injuries, the Socs ran
8. Who was with Johnny when he died? What were his last words? What do you think they mean?
Pony and Dally were with Johnny, He said, “Stay gold, Ponyboy”. He wants Pony to stay like he is and not get too tough.
1. What injuries does Pony describe when he comes home and sees the other members of his gang?
Steve – side bandaged, broken ribs; Soda – wide cut on lip, bruise across cheek; Darry – band-aid on forehead, black eye; Two-Bit – face taped up, stitches in cheek and hand busted open
2. Explain what happens to Dally. Begin with the phone call he makes to the Curtis’.
He calls the Curtis house to tell them he robbed a grocery store and needed someone to hide him. He told Darry to meet him in the lot. When the boys got to the lot, they saw Dally under the streetlight. He pulled his gun out and aimed it at the police. They shot him because they didn’t know it wasn’t loaded. He died before he hit the ground.
3. Why do you think Dally had such a strong reaction to Johnny’s death?
Johnny was the only person Dally ever loved. He didn’t have a real family of his own and Johnny was like a little brother to him.
4. What happens to Pony?
Pony passes out after Dally dies. He ends up in the hospital for a few days (exhaustion, shock, minor concussion). He was asleep and delirious from Saturday until Tuesday.
1. Why does Randy visit Pony? Summarize what they discuss.
He wants to check on him, but Randy also wants Pony to know that he has to talk to the judge the next day. Randy says he will tell the truth to the judge. Pony tells him that he is worried he may get split from his brothers. Pony starts to get confused. He says that he killed Bob and is saying that Johnny is not dead.
2. Why do you think Pony is claiming to be the one that killed Bob?
He wants Johnny to be remembered as a hero. He is mixed up mentally and emotionally.
3. Is there a shift in Pony and Darry’s relationship? Cite one example from this chapter to support your answer.
Yes. Even though Darry is still acting protective of Pony, Pony is more willing to take it. Also, Darry is gentler with Pony than he was before. He refers to Pony as “little buddy” at the end of the chapter.
1. During the trial, how do Darry and Soda stand by Dally?
Since Dally died a “hoodlum” it could reflect badly on the brothers if they admitted to being close friends with him. When the judge asked them if Dally was a “real good buddy”, they both responded, “Yes, sir”.
2. What was the outcome of the trial?
Pony was acquitted and the case was closed. The brothers were allowed to stay together.
3. What changes happen to Pony after the trial?
He started running into things, tripping over things, and losing things. He stopped eating because everything tasted like baloney. He started doing poorly in school, especially English. He tried to act “tougher”.
4. What does Two-Bit mean when he says, “Ponyboy, listen, don’t get tough. You’re not like the rest of us and don’t try to be…”?
He wants Pony to stay kind hearted and a dreamer. He doesn’t want Pony to get rough and stop caring about things.
5. Why does Soda run out on his brothers?
They are fighting again and try to put him in the middle. He is tired of being in the middle.
6. When the boys head home, they race and end in a tie. Why is this significant?
It shows their unity and that they will try to get along better from this point on.
7. In his letter, how does Johnny’s attitude toward dying change? What message does he want Pony to share with Dally?
He ends up being okay with dying because he was glad he was able to do something good with his life (save the little kids). Losing his life was worth saving theirs. He wants Pony to tell Dally to watch a sunset and to remind him there is a lot of good in the world. He wants Dally to know that saving the kids was worth it, to not get angry over it.
8. What does Pony decide to write for his theme for his English class?