The story begins with Ponyboy, a 13 year old boy, explaining his situation and the clash of social classes. He explains that there are greasers, like him, and there are Socs, rich and spoiled people. His point about the divide is further proven when he gets jumped by a Soc before his gang comes to save him.
When Bob, a Soc, threatens Ponyboy and is about to drown him, Johnny gets really scared. Johnny ends up stabbing and killing Bob which sets the whole book into action. The boys run off to an abandoned church after the incident.
I finally know what to write for my essay!
Johnny ends up dying in the hospital from his burns and broken back that he got in the church fire. This has a big effect on Ponyboy and turns the whole story around for Ponyboy goes into denial about his, and later Dally's, deaths. Ponyboy gets physically, mentally, and emotionally sick and his grades and such start to drop.
Since Johnny died earlier in the day, Dally robs a store. He is then running from the police officers, but ends up giving up and lets the police shoot him. This makes Ponyboy even more emotionally distraught and confused.
He isn't dead...Johnny and Dally aren't dead...
In the end, Ponyboy admits that he knows that Johnny and Dally are dead and that Johnny killed Bob, not himself. It is also revealed that the whole novel was really an essay that Ponyboy wrote for his English class.
The scene where Johnny and Ponyboy run into the burning church to save the kids is my favorite. It shows how selfless Johnny and Ponyboy really are and it finally shows that Greasers aren't always the "bad guys."