| Quote #7
"I was crazy, you know that, kid? Crazy for wantin' Johnny to stay out of trouble, for not wantin' him to get hard. If he'd been like me he'd never have been in this mess." (9.106)
Dallas, an extremely isolated character, suggests that jail helped make him "hard" and that this hardness, while isolating, protects him. He might be saying that if Johnny were "hard" he wouldn't have jumped into a burning building, and wouldn't now be dying.
| Quote #8
I wasn't scared. It was the oddest feeling in the world. I didn't feel anything – scared, mad, or anything. Just zero. (12.13)
Pony is feeling very alone at this point. He's isolated from everything because he hasn't been able to process all the recent intense experiences, not to speak of the grief and possible guilt. He's even isolated from his own emotions.
| Quote #9
Sodapop would always be the middleman, but that didn't mean he had to keep getting pulled apart. (12.57)
By understanding Soda's position, Pony's able to finally work toward bringing his family together.