The Outsiders Chapters 11 - 12 Summary

Ponyboy is confined to his bed for a week to recover from his injuries, while in bed he amuses himself by reading and drawing pictures. One day, he picks up Soda's high school yearbook and finds a picture of Bob. At first, he doesn't recognize the name Robert Sheldon in the yearbook, but the picture looks familiar to him. Then he realizes whose picture he is looking at, it is the dead boy from the park. The Socs who beat up Johnny, tried to drown him, and was killed for his actions against both of them.

Ponyboy tries to figure out what kind of person Bob was, why Cherry fell for him, and why Bob and Randy were best friends. He knows Bob liked to start fights, was proud of his rings, and Cherry thought he was sweet, but Ponyboy wonders if Bob had a family like his. He also hopes Bob's parents hate him and Johnny, instead of pitying them for being poor. He hates people who gave him pity. He realizes Bob was a boy with a temper, who was cocky and simultaneously afraid of life.

Randy, Bob's best friend, stops by to see Ponyboy. He needs to talk to him, because their court date is the next day and Randy is upset. He feels he let his father down by becoming involved in the fight and accompanying Bob to the park. He thinks Ponyboy's parents are upset with Ponyboy also, so Randy is surprised to learn his parents are dead. He realizes the court date could end Ponyboy and Soda living with Darry. This is much more serious than Randy realized.

Randy is stunned by Ponyboy's reaction to his remark, that Ponyboy didn't have anything to do with Bob's death. Ponyboy is certain he is the one who used the switchblade to kill Bob. Even more surprising is his declaration that Johnny is still alive. Darry intervenes between Randy and Ponyboy, explaining the doctor thinks given time he will realize the truth.

Later Ponyboy is caught smoking in bed, which makes Darry angry with him. He explains to Darry the only place he can smoke is in bed, because he won't let him get out of bed. Darry calms down and calls Ponyboy little buddy, which is a term only Soda uses, when speaking to him. Darry is becoming less hostile and more paternal towards Ponyboy.

The hearing before the judge doesn't go the way Ponyboy thought it would. The doctor, who had been checking up on him every day, talks to the judge before the hearing starts. Then Randy, Cherry, and a few of the other Socs, who were involved in the fight, testify that Ponyboy didn't kill Bob. They all state Johnny killed him. The judge asks about the boys' association with Dally and they all say he was their friend, which makes Ponyboy proud of his brothers. The judge asked him if he likes living with Darry and whether he enjoys school. After hearing all the testimony, the judge acquits Ponyboy and allows him and Sodapop to stay with Darry.

Life doesn't return to normal for Ponyboy, he is forgetful, he walks into things, and his grades slip. His English grade which normally is an A goes down to a D, so his English teacher talks to him about the decline in his work. He tells Ponyboy if he writes a good semester theme then he will give him a C in the class.

After speaking with his English teacher, Ponyboy, Two-Bit, and Steve go to a grocery store to buy cigarettes and junk food for lunch. Ponyboy is approached by some Socs, who were friends of Bob, they want to teach Ponyboy a lesson for his role in Bob's death. Instead of backing down, Ponyboy comes at them with a broken bottle, something he would have never done before Johnny died. Two-Bit is surprised by his actions and is worried he is getting tough, which is not what anyone of the boys want for him. They want him to go to college and make something of himself. Ponyboy has changed, the week of the deaths has changed his personality.

Ponyboy agrees to his teacher's plan, but he has a hard time concentrating and writing a paper. He and Darry are fighting more than usual and Ponyboy is fighting back, which is unusual behavior for him. Soda is upset because his girlfriend, who was sent to Florida by her parents, is sending back his letters unopened. He is having a hard time dealing with the breakup and the situation with Ponyboy. So when Ponyboy and Darry have a fight, Soda runs out of the house. They figure out what has happened and chase their brother down.

Soda reminds them, they are all they have and they need to stick together. Darry and Ponyboy promise to stop fighting and to try to understand each other more.

That night, Ponyboy finds a letter to him from Johnny, inside the book Johnny left him. Johnny tells him to stay gold, to appreciate the world in the way he did as child. He points out that the world has a lot of good in it and he wants him to explain this to Dally.

After reading the letter, Ponyboy is ready to accept the truth about Johnny; he killed Bob and he died. He knows now what to his theme paper will be about, it will be about Bob, Dally, and Johnny. Their lives and their deaths, to make people understand who they were and why they died.

Ponyboy is living in denial. He thinks Johnny is alive and he killed Bob, not Johnny. His brothers are also having trouble dealing with the deaths of their friends. Ponyboy eventually comes around to the truth and decides to share with his teacher what it means to be a greaser.

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