It opens as a story about economic classes determining the way things are run in Ponyboy's city. The Socs have all the money and the best of everything and they let the Greasers know exactly what they think of them by jumping them. Often. The Greasers may not have the best money or vernacular, but they have heart and are expressive. For the most part the fights that occurr as a result of this classist society are miniscule and a part of everyday life. That is, until Ponyboy and his friends walk home two Soc girls that just so happen to be the girlfriends of some of the toughest Socs in town. Later that night, the very same Socs stumble upon Ponyboy and his buddy Johnny looking for a fight. Not only do they get a fight, but meek little Johnny knives one of the Socs and kills him. Ponyboy and Johnny go on the run and are about to start a new life when something unexpected happens. The church they were hiding out in blazes with a wild fire, with several small children trapped inside. With their big hearts in tow, Ponyboy and Johnny jump into the fire and bring the children out, who would have otherwise died. Juvenille delinquents turned heros, say the papers, but that doesn't make Ponyboy feel any better because his buddy Johnny caught the brunt of the rescue and is in critical condition. Meanwhile, things between the Socs and the Greasers are at an all-time low ever since Johnny murdered one of the Socs, and an ultimate showdown is on the way. Will Johnny make it out of the hospital alive? Who will come out on top of the big fight, Socs or Greasers? Is Ponyboy going to stay sweet and poetic or will he succumb to the hardships of his lifestyle and lose heart?
First line of the book:
"When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."BONAS JONAS: My FAVORITE aspect of this novel is the circular nature of it. Circle stories (the first and last paragraph are the same) are my absolute favorite and it definitely made this book that much better for me. I think I actually squealed with delight, but then again, I squeal and shake with delight like a guinea pig often. I am easily excitable. But still! Amazing!