You’re either someone who has never read the novel and saw the movie or our definition of abuse differ.
If you’re the former, then to clear things up, Darry slapped Ponyboy. If it’s the latter, then my definition of abuse is what Johnny went through and what the abuse that was alluded in regards to Dally and Steve.
You know Dally’s dad [and his mom if she was ever in the picture] was horrible and extremely abusive if this boy at age ten back then got arrested and started his habit of being in and out of jail and finding his own lodgings [like him renting one of Bucks rooms].
Back on subject, if you’ve been on my blog before, then you know I fully support Darry in slapping Ponyboy.
- He’s two hours late past curfew. He could have politely knocked on a neighbors door and asked to use their phone [it was pretty safe back then, unlike now] and called Darry to let him know he was all right and what happened or he could have brought Johnny with him and delay the argument.
- The boy doesn’t seem to grasp that any little slip up could get child services on his brother. And sad to say, neither does Soda.(*)
- They live in the rough area of the neighborhood where he and his best buddy in prior incidents got jumped in broad daylight on their territory. In fact, Pony narrates to us that it was worse than Johnny’s parents abuse, which we can say it implied the Socs beat Johnny near death and it was extremely painful. And in his own jumping, the Socs pulled a blade on him.
- Darry had the chance to get a job or two to save to actually attend college, yet he made sure he got custody of his brothers and gave up a lot for them.
- It’s only until the near end of the novel that Pony finally understood why Darry snapped at him when there was a real chance of him and Soda being torn apart from Darry.
(*)- Soda should have told Darry that Dally knew where their brother and Johnny was at. Why? Because if social services came; they weren’t going to give a fuck if Soda knew. They’re going to wonder why the guardian -Darry- doesn’t know.
Soda didn’t have favorites. That is fact. It’s bullshit to say Soda favored Pony or to say Darry favored Soda. No.
It’s why he had a huge blow up at the end. Because he loves them equally and it kills him when he sees and hears the things Pony says about Darry.
It kills him to see that Darry loves Pony so much, but lets his paranoia that his two little brothers will get taken away that he became so strict and distant that he has completely made Pony feel like the only reason he puts up with him is due to Soda and that if it weren’t for Soda then he would gladly put Pony in a boys home.
- It was also due to losing Sandy and most importantly, besides Darry and Pony, he lost two friends he has grown up with. Keep in mind Hinton never mentioned if Darry/Soda and Steve visited Johnny before he died. So, there’s that guilt on those three as well.
Also, Pony constantly tells us that he and Darry got along the same amount as Soda and him before their parents died. What probably happened was that Darry became distant due to his fear of losing Soda and Pony, and then having Soda being the only one that seemed understanding; Pony just clung to Soda after.
Ponyboy: Where the hell you think you’re goin’?
Sodapop: I don’t know, man. It’s just like sometimes I have to get out. It’s like I’m a middle-man in a tug-a-war or somethin’ between you two guys. I don’t know, I can’t take sides. Ponyboy, Darry could have put you in a boy’s home…worked his way through college. I’m tellin’ you the truth, Pony. And you don’t want to be like me anyway, cause I’m happy working at a gas station…you wouldn’t be happy doin’ something like that. And Darry, you gotta stop yellin’ at him for every little thing that he does, man. I mean, he feels things differently than you. Bad enough, havin’ to listen to you..but when you start havin’ to get me to take sides…we’re all we got left, now. And If we don’t have eachother..you end up like Dallas, and I don’t mean dead either, I mean how he was before. So please, don’t fight anymore.
Darry: Sure, sure little buddy, we ain’t gonna fight no more.
☾ - sleep headcanon
Darry is actually a night owl, which made work especially hard on him.
★ - sad headcanon
The reason that Darry didn’t cry at the funeral is because he cried all night the night before and swore to never cry again and he didn’t until they found Pony.
☆ - happy headcanon
When talking to other people, he sometimes calls the gang ‘his boys.’
☠ - angry/violent headcanon
Darry wish that he didn’t have the temper he does.
✿ - Sex headcanon
Darry hasn’t had sex in a while, he doesn’t love one nighters.
■ - Bedroom/house/living quarters headcanon
Darry’s room is painted blue to remind him of his childhood room.
♡ - romantic headcanon
Darry loves stroking your cheek or hair.
♥ - family headcanon
Darry always wished that he was more like his father - kind hearted and gentle.
☮ - friendship headcanon
Darry truly loves the boys and wishes that he didn’t have to be the mature one.
♦ - quirks/hobbies headcanon
Darry once took a liking to knitting and he never shares that with anyone.
☯ - likes/dislikes headcanon
Darry thinks girls noses are cute.
▼ - childhood headcanon
Darry always wanted a little sibling and then Soda came along and he was thrilled.
∇ -. old age/aging headcanon
Darry takes up the hobby of knitting, no longer caring what everyone else thinks.
♒ - cooking/food headcanon
Darry enjoys cooking.
☼ - appearance headcanon
Though he would never admit it, part of the reason that Darry doesn’t grease his hair is because he feels like it doesn’t look good on him.
ൠ - random headcanon
Darry always wanted a pet hamster.