Ponyboy is somewhat surprised that he is getting along with Cherry and Marcia in The Outsiders. Why?

In The Outsiders, Ponyboy is somewhat surprised that he is getting along with Cherry and Marcia because they are members of the rival Socs gang and typically view themselves as superior to greasers. Pony expects the Soc cheerleaders to act aloof and dismissive. However, Cherry and Marcia befriend them and even hang out with them after the movie.

Expert Answers

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As a greaser, Ponyboy is used to being viewed with contempt by Socs and does not expect Soc cheerleaders like Cherry and Marcia to give him the time of day. The Socs are upper-class, popular teenagers with all the advantages in life. Socs typically look down on greasers and enjoy terrorizing them on a regular basis. Ponyboy has had numerous interactions with Socs over the years and understands that they view themselves as superior. However, Cherry and Marcia act completely different at the drive-ins and befriend Ponyboy and Johnny.

Ponyboy expects Cherry and Marcia to act aloof, but they go out of their way to talk to them. Cherry turns out to be a sympathetic, understanding person, and Ponyboy has an enlightening conversation with her at the concession stand. Cherry does not judge Ponyboy and makes him feel comfortable enough to discuss serious subjects like Johnny's assault and Sodapop's beloved horse Mickey Mouse.

Cherry also explains the main difference between the Socs and greasers by analyzing their social groups. According to Cherry, the Socs are too indifferent and cold while the Greasers are too emotional. Cherry offers Ponyboy a new perspective on the Socs, and he develops a lasting friendship with her. Unfortunately, Johnny kills Cherry's boyfriend in self defense, and the two gangs participate in a violent rumble.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 23, 2021
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