How we cite our quotes:
"Leave my kid brother alone, you hear! It ain't his fault he likes to go to the movies, and it ain't his fault the Socs like to jump us, and if he had been good at carryin' a blade it would have been a good excuse to cut him to ribbons. (1.61)
Soda has a point – Pony seems to be in an impossible situation in which every choice he makes is a wrong one. Whenever a powerful group is actively persecuting another less powerful group, you will find such dilemmas.
"It's not my idea of a good time to sit in a drive-in and watch people get drunk" (2.71)
Cherry has decided to keep alcohol out of her life, even if it means going to the movies without her boyfriend. Later in the novel, she blames alcohol for Bob's violence. Do you think she's right?
"You know what a Soc is? I said, my voice trembling with rage. "White trash with Mustangs and madras." And then, because I couldn't think of anything bad enough to call them, I spit at them. (6.16)
If Pony had chosen not to provoke the Socs with his words, could the tragedy have been avoided? It's hard to say. Likely, nothing Pony could have said would've stopped these guys. After all, they were already angry that Johnny and Pony were with Marcia and Cherry earlier that day.