Study Guide

The Outsiders Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

  • While the three brothers wait to hear how Dally and Johnny are doing, reporters and policemen come to the hospital to talk to them.
  • Pony already wasn't feeling well, so getting bombarded with questions from reporters doesn't help.
  • Luckily, Darry gets them to leave Pony alone.
  • Sodapop, meanwhile, is making the reporters laugh by clowning around, stealing their hats, and pretending to be a reporter himself, interviewing hospital staff.
  • Pony puts some grease in his hair and combs it; he really doesn't want his hair to look bad in the papers.
  • Jerry tells Pony that the reporters were so camera happy because Soda and Darry look like movie stars.
  • Eventually even Soda loses interest in the reporters, and he falls asleep with his head on Darry's lap. His brothers must be so tired.
  • Pony still feels like he's in some crazy dream.
  • As the reporters are leaving, one asks Pony, "What would you do right now if you could do anything you want?" (7.4).
  • Pony says, "Take a bath" (7.5).
  • Finally, the doctor comes out to talk to them.
  • Dally is going to spend a few days in the hospital, so they can tend to his burned arm, but then he'll be fine.
  • But Johnny is "in critical condition" (7.10), with a broken back and "third degree burns."
  • Johnny might not live.
  • Pony holds back the tears, trying to make himself believe that none of this is real.
  • On the way home Pony falls asleep in the car. Soda tries to wake him when they get home, but it doesn't work.
  • So Darry carries Pony in and puts him to bed. Pony had "forgotten how soft a bed really is" (7.20).
  • Pony's the first one up the next morning and, after a shower, he goes into the kitchen to make eggs.
  • Soon, Two-Bit and Steve come over, and Two-Bit seems really happy to see him.
  • Two-Bit asks Pony what it feels like to be a hero, and shows Pony today's newspaper and the article titled, "JUVENILE DELINQUENTS TURN HEROES" (7.35).
  • The article tells the whole story, from the church fire to the death of Bob.
  • Cherry Valance and Randy Adderson, Bob's friend, were both quoted as saying that Bob was drunk, and that Johnny acted in self-defense.
  • Even so, Johnny is to be tried for "manslaughter" (7.37).
  • Pony and Johnny also have to go to juvenile court because they ran away from home.
  • The paper questions whether Johnny will live, but Pony knows his friend will.
  • Unbelievably, there are no charges against Dallas, and the paper doesn't even talk about his criminal record.
  • Dallas is going to be so mad about that.
  • The paper also implies that the courts might split up Darry, Soda, and Pony.
  • When Darry wakes up, Pony asks his brother if he knows he has to go to court.
  • Darry found out about it last night, from the police.
  • Pony tells him he had his recurring nightmare, which he can never quite remember.
  • Darry looks afraid for him.
  • Pony had that dream for the first time the night after his parents' funeral.
  • He'd woken up screaming, but couldn't remember the dream.
  • This happened so much that Darry took Pony to the doctor. The doctor recommended that Pony increase his studying, his reading, his drawing, and his football.
  • This basically worked, but the dream still comes back from time to time.
  • Soda tells Pony that they're planning a big party, after which there will be a rumble and the Greasers will run the Socs out of town.
  • Pony asks if Sandy will be Soda's date for the party, and everybody gets uncomfortable.
  • When Sandy's parents heard about Soda's marriage proposal, they sent her to live with her grandmother.
  • Darry and Soda leave for work, while Two-Bit stays behind with Pony, who does some cleaning to prepare for the social workers' inspection of their home.
  • Later, as they're walking to the hospital, Pony realizes that a blue Mustang is following them.
  • He wants to run away, but Two-Bit seems to think it's safe.
  • Randy Adderson and David, the guy who tried to drown Pony, are in the car.
  • Pony gets into the car to talk with Randy, while Randy's friends and Two-Bit wait for them.
  • Randy tells them how surprised he is that Pony, Johnny, and Dallas saved those kids.
  • He says wouldn't have saved them, and he can't believe Greasers would do something like that.
  • Pony tells him that it doesn't have to do with whether you're a Greaser or not, but with who you are as a person.
  • Randy says he's tired of all the fighting.
  • Bob was his best friend, and now he's dead and Bob's mother "has had a nervous breakdown" (7.106).
  • He says that Bob's parents gave him too many things, and never forbade him from doing anything.
  • Randy says that Bob did all those bad things in the hopes that his parents would care enough to try to stop him.
  • Randy talks about Johnny being on the verge of death.
  • He says that in the rumble tonight some other guys might get hurt or killed, and still nothing will change.
  • He says, "You can't win even if you whip us. You'll still be where you were before—at the bottom. And we'll still be the lucky ones, with all the breaks" (7.108).
  • Randy says he's planning to move away.
  • Pony tells him that won't change anything either.
  • Randy says he knows that, but he has to leave. He can't bring himself to fight in the rumble, but if he doesn't, the others will say he's a coward.
  • Pony says he wishes he could help him, and that he knows that Randy would've saved the kids from the burning building if he'd been there.
  • Randy smiles and thanks him.
  • When Two-Bit asks Pony what the Soc had to say, Pony tells him, "He ain't a Soc […], he's just a guy" (7.119).
  • Pony feels better now, knowing that "Socs [are] just guys after all" (7.121).

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