Chapter 1

Ponyboy Curtis walks home alone one night when he is jumped by the Socs, a rival gang from the West Side. Ponyboy’s brothers Darry and Sodapop, along with other members of the greasers, intervene and scold Ponyboy for walking home alone. After making plans for the following night, Ponyboy returns home, reads Great Expectations, and listens to Sodapop talk about his girlfriend Sandy.

Chapter 2

The following night, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally go to the drive-in movie theater, where they sit behind a pair of Soc girls. Dally offers Cherry Valance a soda, only to have it thrown in his face, and he leaves to slash Tim Shepard’s tires, hoping to get into a fight. Cherry tells Ponyboy that not all Socs are violent like the ones that once beat Johnny, and that they have issues of their own.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 1 & 2

Chapter 3

On their way to Two-Bit’s house, Ponyboy and Cherry discuss the similarities and differences between the greasers and Socs, leading Ponyboy to believe that they might not be so different after all. When Cherry and Marcia’s boyfriends pull up in their Mustang, Ponyboy recognizes that the boy Bob was responsible for beating up Johnny, but before they begin fighting, the girls agree to leave with their boyfriends. Darry slaps Ponyboy when he arrives home late, prompting Ponyboy to meet with Johnny and share his plan to run away.

Chapter 4

Ponyboy and Johnny walk through the park when they encounter a the Socs, including Randy and Bob, and get into an altercation. After being drowned and losing consciousness, Ponyboy wakes up to find Bob’s dead body and Johnny proclaiming that he killed him. Ponyboy and Johnny go to Dally who helps them and instructs them to take the train to an abandoned church in Windrixville to hide out.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter 5

While Ponyboy and Johnny hide, Ponyboy reads Gone with the Wind to Johnny, and the two discuss the gentlemen in the story and how they remind them of the greasers. Dally shows up at the church with a letter from Sodapop and tells them that tensions between the greasers and the Socs have reached an all-time high. Dally also reveals that Cherry Valance has been acting as a spy for the greasers, and that a fight between the two groups is scheduled within a day’s time.

Chapter 6

Dally begins to drive Ponyboy and Johnny home when they notice that the church is on fire and children from a nearby school are trapped inside. Johnny and Ponyboy rush in to save the children, but just as the roof is about to cave in, Johnny pushes Ponyboy out of the way and incurs serious injuries. Ponyboy is taken to the hospital accompanied by Jerry Wood, one of the schoolteachers who treats him in a fatherly manner, and is later joined by Darry and Sodapop who embrace him.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 5 & 6

Chapter 7

The papers report about Ponyboy, Dally, and Johnny’s heroics, as well as Johnny being tried for manslaughter and the possibility of Ponyboy being sent to a boy’s home. Sodapop goes on to tell Ponyboy that Sandy got pregnant and has moved to Florida to live with her grandmother, as her parents refused to let her marry Sodapop. At the Tasty Freeze, Randy assures Ponyboy that he is tired of the violence and does not intend to participate in the rumble.

Chapter 8

Ponyboy and Two-Bit visit Johnny and Dally in the hospital. On their way home, Cherry tells the boys that the Socs will not use weapons during the rumble. Ponyboy reminds Cherry that he can see the sunset on the East Side like she can see it on the West Side.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 7 & 8

Chapter 9

A long struggle ensues between the Socs and the greasers before the greasers are ultimately victorious. After the fight, Dally and Ponyboy visit Johnny at the hospital where he eventually dies. Ponyboy is struck with grief and runs out the room.

Chapter 10

Beset by Johnny’s death, Dally robs a grocery store and is eventually shot and killed by the police. Ponyboy passes out after suffering a head wound during the fight. When Ponyboy wakes up he learns he has been in bed for three days.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 11

While bedridden for a week after his concussion, Ponyboy looks at a picture of Bob in Sodapop’s yearbook, and after remarking that he had his bad qualities, he acknowledges Bob was ultimately human as well. Randy visits Ponyboy worried about being associated with the violence. In a state of delirium, Ponyboy confesses that he killed Bob and claims that Johnny is still alive.

Chapter 12

Ponyboy is acquitted of any crime and returns to school, but his grades suffer and his attitude changes, even becoming hostile when accosted by a couple of Socs. Ponyboy’s relationship with Darry becomes more strained, but when they discover that Sodapop was not the father of Sandy’s child, they confront him, and he tells them that their constant fighting is tearing him apart. Ponyboy and Darry agree to try better, and after reading a letter Johnny left Ponyboy in his copy of Gone with the Wind, Ponyboy decides to write his autobiographical essay on his friends and their experiences in the hopes that it will deter others from violence and hate.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 11 & 12