The Outsiders Why is Ponyboy surprised when Cherry tells him with whom she might be likely to fall in love?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ponyboy is surprised when Cherry says that she could fall in love with Dally Winston. "I could fall in love with Dallas Winston...I hope I never see him again or I will."

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Earlier, as the members of the Greasers watch the drive-in movie, two girls come and sit on the chairs where people without cars can sit. 

"I kind of admire him," Cherry said softly, so only I heard, and then we settled down to watch the movie.

He is surprised because just moments ago, Cherry has said she would not drink a Coke given her by Dally if she were starving and has thrown her coke in Dally's face because of his foul language and rather crude behavior. She has also been told that Dally has been in a gang in New York. But, Cherry may be attracted to dangerous people because she is Bob's boyfriend and he is a volatile member of the Socs. Cherry also finds attractive the emotional greasers as opposed to the jaded and spoiled Socs. About her group of friends she tells Ponyboy,

"We're always going and going and going, and never asking where. Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted?"

Perhaps, then, she is attracted to the dangerous Dally because she feels trapped in her life, and wishes for some excitement.

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