He appears to believe that, despite their youth, the young men in the story will never be able to move on and transcend the narrow limits of their gang identities.
Randy’s belief in the permanence of their social identities may be based, however, in the fact that he is a Soc and not a greaser.
Ponyboy points out that the sunset closes the gap between the greasers and Socs.
He realizes that, even though the two groups have unequal lifestyles, attitudes, and financial situations, they nevertheless live in the same world, beneath the same sun.
By the end of the novel, the boys apply this idea to youthful innocence, believing that they cannot remain forever unsullied by the harsh realities of life.
By stating that the members of both groups will always remain in their respective groups, he suggests that it would be impossible for a greaser or a Soc to rise above his current status.
During this blissful time, the two boys read, talk, and smoke, escaping the adult world of responsibility.
Like the gold of the poem, however, this idyll is tinged with sadness.
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Johnny, on the other hand, though quieter and more timid than Ponyboy, finds it in himself to admire Dally and to look past his intimidating exterior.