The Outsider Questions and Answers
by Richard Wright

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What are two impressions you have of Cherry from pages 88, 89 and 90 of The Outsiders?

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misstemple1261 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since there are several different versions of The Outsiders, I am guessing that in your book, pages 88, 89, and 90 are part of the eighth chapter, since Cherry makes a small number of appearances in The Outsiders, most of which are clustered toward the beginning of the novel.

In Chapter Eight, Cherry drives her Corvette to the hospital parking lot to inform Two-Bit and Ponyboy about the Socs’ plans for the rumble. She also tells the boys that Randy, Bob’s best friend, will not participate in the fight because he is “sick of fighting,” especially after seeing his “best buddy” killed. From this scene, I infer that Cherry enjoys being the messenger between the greasers and the Socs. She relishes having the information from both sides and getting attention from two different communities. She also enjoys being seen by the greasers as an ally. I also think she is trying to keep her distance from the greasers. Cherry will never become a “greaser girl,” no matter how much sympathy she feels for Ponyboy and his friends. She clings to the symbols of her wealth and privilege (her Corvette, nice hair, and fancy clothes), even as she reaches out to the greasers. 

In Chapter Eight, I’d also like to draw your attention to Cherry’s refusal to visit Johnny in the hospital. Ponyboy, of course, is outraged at her decision and skeptical of her argument that “I couldn't ever look at the person who killed him. I know I'm too young to be in love and all that, but Bob was something special. He wasn't just any boy. He had something that made people follow him, something that marked him different, maybe a little better, than the crowd.” From this quote, as well as Cherry’s comment that she’s in danger of falling in love with Dallas Winston, I can infer that Cherry chooses entirely inappropriate men to love, which consequently clouds her decision-making process. Bob, from what the reader glimpses of him, is not “something special.” He’s a selfish, cruel person who’s willing to potentially murder Ponyboy for kicks. Refusing to visit Johnny in the hospital because of loyalty towards Bob shows Cherry’s misplaced love for a cruel person.

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