What are 3 quotes that describe Cherry Valace from The Outsider?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I like this quote because it is so stereotypical of what Pony and the readers would expect Cherry to be.  A good looking, rich, Soc of a cheerleader.  Somebody that couldn't possibly relate to Pony and his life.  

Boy, she was good-looking. I'd seen her before; she was a cheerleader at our school. I'd always thought she was stuck-up.

Boy, is Ponyboy wrong in his initial impression of Cherry.  She is as good looking as she was ever thought to be, but she's intelligent.  She's honest, a good listener, and incredibly insightful.  She understands people probably better than anybody else in the entire book.  Take this quote for example:

"Cherry was looking at me. "What's a nice, smart kid like you running around with trash like that for?"

Cherry has been talking to Ponyboy for all of five minutes, and she hits the nail on the head with Pony.  He isn't like the rest of the Greasers.  There is something different about Pony, and the rest of the gang knows it.  That's why Johnny tells Pony to "stay gold" and why the boys at the end of the story are worried that Pony is becoming hard like the rest of them.  The thing is though, the gang has had years to get to know Pony.  It makes sense that they see his differences.  Cherry sees it after a few minutes.  

She doesn't end her insightful talents with Pony either.  She reads Johnny like a book.  

"She smiled and her eyes showed that her mind was on something else. "Johnny... he's been hurt bad sometime, hasn't he?" It was more of a statement than a question. "Hurt and scared."

Pony then tells her a long story about how Johnny came to be hurt and scared.  Cherry must be a good listener, because she doesn't interrupt once, and appears to be quite shaken by the story. 

"I HAD NEARLY forgotten that Cherry was listening to me. But when I came back to reality and looked at her, I was startled to find her as white as a sheet."

Lastly, Cherry is able to make Pony consider her thoughts and opinions too.  She feels badly for Pony, but she makes it clear to him that it's not just the Greasers who have it rough.  

"I'll tell you something, Ponyboy, and it may come as a surprise. We have troubles you've never even heard of. You want to know something?" She looked me straight in the eye. "Things are rough all over."

"I believe you," I said"

Cherry is a fantastic character.  She surprises the reader throughout, because of her ability to shake off what should be her stereotype.  

Read the study guide:
The Outsiders

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