Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website!
With the exception of Ponyboy, the viewer misses out on knowing most of the novel’s characters. Darry and Soda are relatively minor characters in the movie, and the viewer is given little insight into their lives. The same is true for the rest of the gang, even Dally. Dally’s death loses much of its impact because viewers aren’t able to get to know him. Only the reader is aware of the fact that Dally’s gun is unloaded, and the symbolic death of Dally in the spotlight is gone.
Johnny’s character is also weaker in the movie than the book. Viewers don’t see the growth in his character, because they don’t know Johnny. Johnny’s appreciation for life at the end of his own is barely noted, but it has great impact on Pony in the novel.
The whole point of the telling of Ponyboy’s story is to give meaning to Johnny’s death. Johnny had wanted Ponyboy to tell Dally certain truths, and given that Dally is dead, Pony writes this story down for all of the Dallys in the world: “Someone should tell their side of the story, and maybe people would understand then and wouldn’t be so quick to judge a boy by the amount of hair oil he wore.” The movie and book do begin and end with the same lines, the difference being, only readers understand the meaning behind them.