In The Outsiders, why was Ponyboy upset with Cherry?  Explain Cherry’s rationale of Bob’s behavior.

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In Chapter 8, after Ponyboy and Two-Bit come back from visiting Johnny and Dally at the hospital, they run into Cherry Valance sitting in her Corvette near a vacant lot. Cherry tells Ponyboy that the Socs will fight fair without weapons and that Randy will not be showing up to fight. Cherry asks, "How's Johnny?" and Pony tells her that he's not doing so good. Ponyboy gets upset with Cherry for telling him she wouldn't visit Johnny in the hospital. Cherry claims that she couldn't look at Johnny because he was the person who killed her boyfriend. She explains to Ponyboy that Bob was a really nice person who was sweet and friendly. Cherry blames Bob's actions on alcohol and says, "when he got drunk...it was that part of him that beat up Johnny" (Hinton 128). Ponyboy understands that Cherry was attracted to Bob's good side, but is still upset that she won't see Johnny. He mentions that it's not Johnny's fault that Bob was a drunk and that Cherry only went for guys who caused trouble. Ponyboy then tells Cherry that he doesn't want her to see Johnny anyway. He calls her a traitor and says,

"Do you think your spying for us makes up for that fact that you're sitting there in a Corvette while my brother drops out of school to get a job? Don't you ever feel sorry for us. Don't you ever try to give us handouts." (Hinton 129)

Ponyboy feels that Cherry pities them, and that is the only reason she is helping. Pony is prideful and would rather have someone's hate than their sympathy. Cherry explains that she wasn't trying to show them sympathy, but was only trying to help because she thought Pony was a nice kid. Ponyboy realizes that Cherry is telling him the truth and is honestly trying to help them as a friend. The two share a connection after Ponyboy asks whether she can see the sunsets good from the West Side. Cherry says, "Real good" and Ponyboy tells her he can also see sunsets from the East Side real good.

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