How do you feel aboout this statement: "things are rough all over" (from The Outsiders)?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The following quote appears in chapter two of The Outsiders:

Things are rough all over.

In order to define one's feelings about the quote, one must understand what Cherry is saying to Ponyboy.

Essentially, Cherry is trying to make Ponyboy feel better about life in general. Ponyboy is convinced that all of the Socs are the same, just like all of the Greasers are not the same. That being said, Cherry is trying to point out that everyone is having problems at that point. The importance of what Cherry says to Ponyboy does not actually hit him until chapter seven.

Ponyboy realizes that Cherry was right: "Things were rough all over, but it was better that way. That way you could tell the other guy was human too." By this, Ponyboy is able to humanize all who have opposed him. Through this, he learns a very valuable lesson.

Based upon this, one must rationalize the advice Cherry gave Ponyboy in telling him that everyone had it rough. If one beleives that some truth lies in the statement, then they will most likely feel content with it, believe in it, and find satisfaction in it (like Ponyboy does). On the other hand, if a reader fails to understand what Cherry is saying, they may feel as though it is meant to simply calm Ponyboy down for the moment only.

Essentially, one can only answer about their feelings based upon how they feel.

ik9744 | Student

Things are hard everywhere not just what you think.