The Outsiders


Cast of Characters


Thoughtful, sensitive, and the youngest of the gang (only 14 when the story opens), Ponyboy is guileless, eager to please, and detests fights. Different from the others in that he likes reading, nature, and solitary activities, he and Johnny share the same interests and are often able to talk to each other without conversing. Eager to forgive and understand others, Ponyboy seems to be the one whom others frequently turn to for counseling. Ponyboy admires his brother Sodapop, not realizing that he is just as handsome and courageous as his brother. He also seems to have his older brother Darrell's conscientiousness and intelligence. Of all of the boys, with the exceptions of Johnny and possibly Darry, Ponyboy is least characteristic of the gang and has the greatest potential to graduate to "higher stuff." He is also a runner who has made it to the Track A team in school. Johnny sees in Ponyboy the "gold." The other gang members largely protect him. Although initially disliking Darry, Ponyboy is similar to his older brother in many regards, and has his brother's potential without being hardened by his responsibilities.

The novel tracks Ponyboy's development from an easily startled, angry boy who dislikes his brother to someone who is more comfortable with himself, secure in his future, and more understanding and accepting of differences in general. Ponyboy becomes more driven, more alert to nuances, and more patient and understanding of the differences and complexities of life as the novel progresses.


Twenty when the story opens and called "Superman" or "Muscles" by the gang for his strength and ruthlessness, Darrel (otherwise known as "Darry") is the hardworking oldest boy of their family who has taken it upon himself to care for his two younger brothers in order to keep the family together. His parents had been killed in a car crash several years ago. Working two jobs while managing his schoolwork, Darrell could have progressed to...

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