Chapters 9–10

In the 1960s, tensions between two rival gangs separated along economic lines reach a violent breaking point.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. interfere
    come between so as to be hindrance or obstacle
    It was a chilly night and T-shirts aren’t the warmest clothes in the world, but nobody ever gets cold in a rumble, and besides, jackets interfere with your swinging ability.
  2. conformity
    compliance with accepted standards, rules, or norms
    Soda fought for fun, Steve for hatred, Darry for pride, and Two-Bit for conformity.
  3. determined
    strongly motivated to succeed
    Living the way we do would only make him more determined to get somewhere.
  4. discipline
    the act of punishing
    His boys ranged from fifteen to nineteen, hard-looking characters who were used to the strict discipline Tim gave out.
  5. leery
    openly distrustful and unwilling to confide
    We mostly stuck with our own outfits, so I was a little leery of going over to him, but I shrugged.
  6. taut
    subjected to great tension; stretched tight
    He stood there, tall, broad-shouldered, his muscles taut under his T-shirt and his eyes glittering like ice.
  7. contempt
    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
    Because Darry was standing there representing all of us, and maybe Paul felt only contempt and pity and hate for greasers?
  8. detached
    showing lack of emotional involvement
    Numerous bruises along my back and on my face were throbbing, but I felt detached from the pain, as if it wasn’t really me feeling it.
  9. editorial
    an article giving opinions or perspectives
    That’s what you get for helpin’ people. Editorials in the paper and a lot of trouble.
  10. agony
    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
    He was very still, and for a moment I thought in agony: He’s dead already.
  11. stupor
    marginal consciousness
    I walked down the hall in a daze. Dally had taken the car and I started the long walk home in a stupor.
    "Stupor" and "daze" are synonyms. Having been kicked in the head during the rumble, Ponyboy is physically dazed and stupefied. But he is also in an emotional daze and stupor from the distress and shock of seeing Johnny die.
  12. bewildered
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
    His eyes were closed, but when the door shut behind me he opened them, and I suddenly wondered if my own eyes looked as feverish and bewildered as his.
  13. impact
    the striking of one body against another
    He was jerked half around by the impact of the bullets, then slowly crumpled with a look of grim triumph on his face.
    "Impact" also means "strong effect"--Dally chose to face the impact of the bullets because he couldn't handle the impact of Johnny's death.
  14. desperate
    dangerously reckless or violent as from urgency or dismay
    He died violent and young and desperate, just like we all knew he’d die someday.
  15. concussion
    injury to the brain caused by a blow
    Exhaustion, shock, minor concussion—and Two-Bit came blubberin’ over here with some tale about how you were running a fever before the rumble and how it was all his fault you were sick.
Created on June 9, 2014 (updated July 16, 2018)

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