The Outsiders

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Sunsets and Sunrises Symbol Analysis

Sunsets and Sunrises Symbol Icon
Sunsets and sunrises in The Outsiders represent the beauty and goodness in the world, particularly after Johnny compares the gold in the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" to the gold of the sunrises and sunsets Ponyboy enjoys. The sunset also stands for the common humanity of all people, regardless of the gang to which they belong—in their first conversation at the drive-in, Cherry and Ponyboy find common ground in their enjoyment of the same sunset from opposite sides of town.
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Sunsets and Sunrises Symbol Timeline in The Outsiders

The timeline below shows where the symbol Sunsets and Sunrises appears in The Outsiders. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Empathy Theme Icon
Preserving Childhood Innocence Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
...they talk, the two of them also discover a shared love of reading and watching sunsets. Ponyboy realizes that, despite their different classes and friends, the two of them see the... (full context)
Chapter 5
Preserving Childhood Innocence Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
One morning, Ponyboy and Johnny watch the sunrise. As they lament that the sunrise's beauty doesn't last, Ponyboy recites the poem "Nothing Gold... (full context)
Chapter 8
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Empathy Theme Icon
Preserving Childhood Innocence Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
...good qualities, Ponyboy asks for her forgiveness. He asks Cherry whether she can see the sunset well from the West Side. She says she can. He says that he can still... (full context)
Chapter 12
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Empathy Theme Icon
Preserving Childhood Innocence Theme Icon
Self-Sacrifice and Honor Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
...the book. In the letter, Johnny urges Ponyboy to "stay gold," to keep watching the sunsets and appreciating the world as if it were new. The letter reminds Ponyboy to remember... (full context)