“Nothing Gold Can Stay” in The Outsiders
In The Outsiders, the theme “Nothing Gold Can Stay” mentioned in the Robert Frost poem, plays a large role in the life of Ponyboy as he grows from being a naïve boy, who’s smart but doesn’t use his head a lot, to a more grown up, tougher boy who still has all the kind and caring qualities from when he was younger. In the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, Frost talks about the first buds of spring, which are gold, young, and innocent, but last only a few days. Nothing young or innocent can last for long. In the beginning of the novel, Ponyboy gets jumped by the Socs while walking home from the movies, because he wasn’t thinking. He knew that he wasn’t supposed to walk alone. “Greasers can’t walk alone too much, or they’ll get jumped, or someone will come by and scream ‘Greaser!’ at them, which doesn’t make you feel too hot, if you know what I mean.” When Ponyboy gets jumped he screams for his brothers, or anyone nearby. He freezes and becomes speechless and overcome with fear like he does several times through the novel - when Johnny kills the Soc, and at Johnny’s death- Walking home alone instead of calling a friend or his brother Darry was something naïve and reckless. This is an example of how Ponyboy is at the beginning of the novel: naïve, innocent, and afraid, but also kind and thoughtful. When Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally come back from Dairy Queen to the church they were hiding in, they find it in flames. Despite Dally’s warnings, they, Ponyboy and Johnny run into the burning building to help the children trapped inside. They were trying to be heroes because they felt guilty about leaving the cigarettes in the church, which was the cause of the fire. After the kids were rescued, Johnny was severely burned, later to die and Ponyboy was hurt too. This was because the boys just jumped right in without thinking, even though it was also a good thing, because if they hadn’t the kids could have been hurt, or even...
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