Study Guide

The Outsiders Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

  • When Ponyboy wakes up that afternoon, he's disoriented—he isn't quite sure where he is.
  • It's all been a dream, he tries to make himself believe.
  • He pretends he's at home, with Darry cooking in the kitchen and Soda tickling him.
  • But he knows he's sleeping on the floor of the church in Windrixville.
  • He gets up from the cold floor and looks for Johnny.
  • He finds a note saying that Johnny had gone to town to shop.
  • When Ponyboy sits on the back steps, he can see for miles since he's on top of a high hill.
  • It seems like much more than a day has passed since Johnny and Pony met Dally to go to the movies.
  • For all he knows, he's been sleeping for a week.
  • Ponyboy begins to worry that Johnny's been captured, that Dally's been killed, and that he'd be left alone here forever.
  • Oh no—he hears someone coming.
  • It's… Johnny and he has groceries.
  • Johnny reminds him that Dally said not to hang around outside the church where people might see them.
  • In addition to food and matches, Johnny bought a copy of Gone With the Wind.
  • Pony's really excited and asks Johnny how he knew this book was high up on his list of things to read.
  • Embarrassed, Johnny says he heard Pony say it once.
  • Pony finds a deck of cards in the bags, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. He knows that people use peroxide to lighten their hair color.
  • Johnny confirms his suspicions. He and Pony are going to cut their hair and dye it because they're now in the newspapers, pictures and all.
  • Pony says, "Oh, no! […] No, Johnny, not my hair" (5.16).
  • Pony takes pride in his hair. It's really nice, but it's also what "label[s] [them greasers" (5.17).
  • It was something nice they had for themselves.
  • Still, Pony agrees that it must be done.
  • Johnny cuts and dyes Pony's hair, then Pony cuts Johnny's.
  • When Pony gets emotional and starts to cry, Johnny says he's sorry about the haircut and starts trying to cheer up his friend.
  • It works and soon Pony's reminiscing about hanging out with Dally the night before.
  • Johnny gets upset and tells Pony not to talk about last night—the night he killed a man. He has to start dealing with the guilt.
  • He tells Pony it was an accident and then starts walking back and forth across the room, panicking.
  • Pony is in tears and begins to panic too.
  • Johnny says he shouldn't have brought a youngster here with him.
  • Ponyboy reminds him, upset, that he turned fourteen two months before.
  • They comfort each other and calm down, promising not to cry any more.
  • Finally, Ponyboy calms down for the first time since he and Johnny were sitting with Cherry and Marcia at the movies.
  • Five days pass by at a snail's pace.
  • The boys stay at the back of the church watching the road from on top of the hill.
  • Pony wakes up early one morning and watches an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise.
  • Johnny sees it too.
  • Ponyboy says, "Nothing gold can stay" (5.57). When Johnny asks him what he's talking about, he recites the short poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.
  • Johnny says that Pony's interest in nature has made him notice nature more as well.
  • So, it's the fifth day and Ponyboy has become pretty stir-crazy and really tired of bologna.
  • He's partway through Gone with the Wind.
  • Pony smoked too much, got sick, and is about to go to sleep when he hears a whistle.
  • Before he knows it, Dallas is there with them.
  • Pony is really excited.
  • Dally says it's okay for them to come out and that his car is nearby.
  • He gives Pony a letter from Sodapop.
  • Soda says he and Darry were really worried about him and that Darry is sorry for hitting him. He says Darry didn't do it on purpose.
  • It was a shock to hear that Johnny and Pony could have something to do with a murder, and it scared them when Dallas was taken to the police station.
  • He can't believe he or Johnny would be involved in murder, and didn't know anything to tell the police when they came around.
  • Dallas won't say where they are, and Soda wishes Pony would turn himself in.
  • He says that Pony's "famous now," with his picture in the paper and everything.
  • (In the book, Soda's letter is complete with plenty of misspellings.)
  • Pony asks Dally why he was taken to the station.
  • Dally says they bring him in every time something goes wrong, out of habit.
  • Soon they're with Dallas, driving to the Dairy Queen in Buck Merrill's T-Bird. Pony and Johnny eat "barbeque sandwiches and banana splits" (5.105).
  • Dally tells them that because of the murder of Bob, Socs and Greasers are warring all around, and Dally has even taken to carrying a gun. Two days ago, the Socs jumped Two-Bit, but he's OK now.
  • As the chapter ends, Dally tells Pony and Soda that the gang now has "a spy" (5.111).
  • Dally says that the spy is Cherry Valance, the redheaded girl from the movies.

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