Ponyboy realizes that Cherry and Marcia “weren’t alike.” What is the reasoning for this claim in The Outsiders?

Ponyboy realizes that Cherry and Marcia are not alike after witnessing how differently the two girls respond to Dally's untoward behavior. Cherry takes an active role and tells Dally off, while Marcia passively ignores him and does not react. Cherry refuses Dally's peace offering and throws it in his face, while Marcia is happy to accept hers. Cherry is passionate, true to her word, and has no tolerance for nonsense. Marcia is very laid-back and indifferent.

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In addition to the physical differences between the two girls—Marcia was “cute,” but Cherry was “a real looker"—Ponyboy first realizes that Cherry and Marcia “weren’t alike,” by the way each girl handles the Coke Dally gives them.

Dally sees Ponyboy and Johnny at the movies with the two Soc girls and joins them. Dally thinks Cherry is attractive and he starts smart-talking her and saying inappropriate things to her. When he offers to bring everyone a Coke from the concession stand, Cherry is angry at the way that he has behaved and menaced them. She wants him to leave and tells him,

"I wouldn't drink it if I was starving in the desert. Get lost, hood!"

When Dally comes “striding back with an armful of Cokes,” and arrogantly says, “This might cool you off.” he hands one to each girl and their reactions are completely different. Cherry throws her Coke in Dally’s face, telling him,

"That might cool you off, greaser…”

Ponyboy then notices that Marcia is drinking her...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 941 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 22, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 21, 2020