deem to be
Or I could have gotten one of the gang to come along, one of the four boys Darry and Soda and I have grown up with and
having awareness of surroundings and sensations and thoughts
I remembered Johnny—his face all cut up and bruised, and I remembered how he had cried when we found him, half-conscious, in the corner lot.
salty fluid secreted by sweat glands
I could feel my palms getting clammy and the
perspiration running down my back.
die from lack of oxygen
I could smell English Leather shaving lotion and stale tobacco, and I wondered foolishly if I would
suffocate before they did anything.
expressing compassion or friendly fellow feelings
His eyes are dark brown—lively, dancing, recklessly laughing eyes that can be gentle and
sympathetic one moment and blazing with anger the next.
win something through one's efforts
He was famous for shoplifting and his black-handled switchblade (which he couldn’t have
acquired without his first talent), and he was always smarting off to the cops.
impossible to come to understand
He liked fights, blondes, and for some
unfathomable reason, school.
methodical and efficient in arrangement or function
In New York, Dally blew off steam in gang fights, but here,
organized gangs are rarities—there are just small bunches of friends who stick together, and the warfare is between the social classes.
A rarity is something unusual, often thought as valuable. This word almost makes an organized gang seem like something that Ponyboy wishes his neighborhood had. But he is actually somewhat of a loner who enjoys watching movies and reading books by himself. Any positive tone towards organized gangs would be connected to Dally.
openly distrustful and unwilling to confide
He had a nervous,
suspicious look in his eyes, and that beating he got from the Socs didn’t help matters.
extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle
Lying beside Soda, staring at the wall, I kept remembering the faces of the Socs as they
surrounded me, that blue madras shirt the blond was wearing, and I could still hear a thick voice: “Need a haircut, greaser?”
get the meaning of something
“Listen, kiddo, when Darry hollers at you ... he don’t mean nothin’. He’s just got more worries than somebody his age ought to. Don’t take him serious ... you dig, Pony? Don’t let him bug you. He’s really proud of you ’cause you’re so brainy. It’s just because you’re the baby—I mean, he loves you a lot.
"Savvy" is used here as a question that means the same as "you dig?" As a noun, it means "common sense" and as an adjective, it means "having common sense." So a savvy person has savvy, savvy?
be attractive to
Two-Bit or Steve or even Soda would have gone right along with him, just to see if they could embarrass the girls, but that kind of kicks just doesn’t
appeal to me.
not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
She gave him an
incredulous look; and then she threw her Coke in his face.
indecision in speech or action
If it had been me, or Two-Bit, or Soda or Steve, or anyone but Johnny, Dally would have flattened him without a moment’s
resisting control or authority
Living in those conditions might have turned someone else
rebellious and bitter; it was killing Johnny.
The adjective "rebellious" comes from the Latin verb "bellare" which means "to make war." Because Johnny is not rebellious, even though his parents make war on him, everyone in the gang takes extra care to make him feel like he's their beloved kid brother.