What draws Cherry to the greasers in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Though Cherry Valance seems sweet and friendly--and she is--she obviously prefers boys with a dangerous side. Her boyfriend, Bob, is the cruelest and most ruthless of the Socs in the story: He wears a hand full of rings and has previously beaten Johnny severely even before he attacks Ponyboy and tries to drown him in the park. She claims he has a "sweet" side, but it is probably his tough side that attracts her most. She is attracted to Pony and Johnny because Pony is handsome and because Johnny defends her against Dally's unchivalrous behavior. Though Pony and Johnny are young and small, they are greasers and she knows they are tougher than they look. Yet Cherry is still attracted to Dally because she has heard of his reputation, and she tells Pony that she could fall in love with him if she allowed herself to do so.

"I kind of admire him," Cherry said softly...

An attractive cheerleader, Cherry could have her choice of any boy at the high school, but it is the dangerous ones--be they Soc or greaser--that she likes the most.