Coming of Age
Cultures from around the world demonstrate “Coming of Age” in different ways. For instance, religions such as Islam identify the necessity of Salat. In Christianity, churches celebrate the sacrament of confirmation. Judaism acknowledges adulthood at the age of thirteen, with a boy’s bar mitzvah and a girl’s bat mitzvah. There are various ways to spot the transforming of the young mind into an adult observer in different societies and cultures.
Johnny’s death impacts Ponyboy in many ways. On page 148, Johnny says to Ponyboy, “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…” He means that no matter what life throws at Ponyboy, he is to be optimistic. Ponyboy is challenged to stay innocent and not become a hoodlum. Johnny realizes that Ponyboy can have a successful life without becoming a criminal. Pony does not have to live the same kind of life that Johnny had. He has a choice of becoming successful to pass college, or to become a hoodlum. However, Johnny knows that deep down, Ponyboy will make the right choice.
Another example of Ponyboy growing up is demonstrated when Sodapop runs away while Darry and Ponyboy are fighting. On page 174, Sodapop bolts out the door after saying, “Don’t… Oh, you guys, why can’t you…” Sodapop means, Ponyboy never had paid much attention to Soda’s problem, the letter he wrote to Sandy was returned opened. Ponyboy took it for granted that he did not have any problems. Ponyboy realizes he is not the only one with problems. He knows other people might be having similar problems as him. When Dally dies, Ponyboy becomes unbalanced. On page 154, Dally dies a hoodlum, not a hero like Johnny. “Soon enough he was jerked…