“Listen, kiddo, when Darry hollers at you … he don’t mean nothin’. He’s just got more worries than somebody his age ought to. Don’t take him serious…you dig, Pony?”
Sodapop explains to Ponyboy why Darry is so hard on them both. Sodapop the youngest brother, easygoing and wise, often serves as the family’s mediator. Sodapop’s personality finds the middle ground between Darry’s serious, tough-love persona and Ponyboy’s complex sensitivity. With these observations, Sodapop helps put Darry’s behavior in perspective for Ponyboy.
“I don’t know. It’s just … I can’t stand to hear y’all fight. Sometimes … I just have to get out or … it’s like I’m the middleman in a tug o’war and I’m being split in half. You dig?”
Ponyboy and Darry are fighting as usual, and Sodapop runs out, upset. When Darry and Ponyboy reach Sodapop, Sodapop explains why he took off. At this moment Ponyboy realizes the toll his and Darry’s fighting has taken on Sodapop. Sodapop, usually happy-go-lucky, reveals a more sensitive, vulnerable side, and his pain ultimately brings resolution and peace for the Curtis family.
“I am a greaser,” Sodapop chanted. “I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun.”
On their way to the rumble with Socs, Sodapop chants about his shamelessness to be a greaser. He might beat up people and rob gas stations, but he has fun doing it, and couldn’t care less about whether his actions are good or bad, right or wrong. Sodapop’s happy-go-lucky charm and simple wisdom make him a resilient character throughout the novel.