The Outsiders

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The Outsiders Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ponyboy stays in bed for a week. Flipping through one of Sodapop's old yearbooks one day, he comes across Bob's picture. He wonders how Bob's parents are coping with his death, and thinks about what Bob was like as a person. He puts the aspects of Bob that he saw together with the things that Cherry and Randy told him about their friend, and decides that Bob was cocky, quick to anger, and scared. Above all, he decides, Bob was human.
In trying to see things through Bob's eyes, Ponyboy acknowledges the humanity of his former enemy, a first step to rising above the conflict that has caused so much devastation in both greasers' and Socs' lives.
Themes
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Empathy Theme Icon
One day, Randy comes to visit Ponyboy. He says that he feels like he let down his father by his involvement with Bob in the attack on Ponyboy and Johnny, and he tells Ponyboy that he plans to tell the truth at the hearing the next day. Randy seems genuinely worried when Ponyboy tells him of his fear that the brothers will be split up. When he tries to reassure Ponyboy by telling him that he didn't do anything criminal, Ponyboy insists that he, and not Johnny, was the one who killed Bob. Randy tries to reason with him, and Ponyboy then denies that Johnny is dead. Darry comes in and suggests that Randy leave, saying in a low voice that Ponyboy is still having difficulty coping with his concussion and Johnny's death.
Randy shows compassion and maturity in his decision to visit Ponyboy. He demonstrates empathy in his concern over the Curtis brothers' potential separation. Randy also has the capacity to think for himself and seems willing to take a path that might diverge from that of his fellow gang members. Ponyboy, however, is in full denial over Johnny's death.
Themes
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Empathy Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon