E Hinton we are introduced to a boy and his life in a gang. Ponyboy Curtis is 14 years old with longish brown reddish hair, squared off at the end, greyish green eyes, a bit to green for his liking. "I wish they were more grey, because I hate most guys that have green eyes." Ponyboy is a smart, bright boy living in the wrong side of town and consequently a member of a gang called the "Greasers".
Living with Ponyboy is his two older brothers, Sodapop and Darry. Their parents had died months earlier in a car accident leaving older brother Darry in charge. Ponyboy thinks Darry is expecting too much from him but really Darry just want Ponyboy to have a better life. "Me and Darry just didn't dig each other. I could never please him." Though he is a member of the gang, he dislike the fights or "rumbles" with the rival gang, the soc's but he is still loyal to them because they are a quite close knitted gang. "When you"re a gang, you stick up for the members". .
Ponyboy, unlike the others, is bright and smart. He's good at school, and has a talent for running. He "digs" sunsets, likes watching the movie alone, and reading. Though he may have the brains, he doesn't think before acting and sometimes it gets him into trouble. "You don't ever think, not at home or anywhere when it counts" one of Darry's lectures. Ponyboy is an innocent, sensitive person that just wants a more normal life, hoping to live in the country. "I loved the country, I wanted to be out of town and away from the excitement." He thinks life is unjust for them greaser. "It ain't fair that we get all the rough breaks.".
As part of one of the gang, Ponyboy feels the closest to Johnny, "Johnny and I understand each other without saying much words." He is constantly feeling that his other brother is treating him unfair and not understanding him. "Treating me as if I was six instead of 14" He didn't like to talk much part from talking to his brother, Sodapop.