Who is Mickey Mouse and why is he so important in Sodapop's life in The Outsiders?

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In Chapter 3, Ponyboy has a personal conversation with Cherry Valance at the drive-in and begins speaking about Sodapop's favorite horse, Mickey Mouse. Ponyboy tells Cherry that Sodapop used to work at the stables, where he became attached to a beautiful colt named Mickey Mouse. Although Mickey Mouse was a mean horse, he obeyed and played with Sodapop whenever he arrived at the stables. Pony describes Sodapop as being "horse crazy" and mentions that Soda was absolutely infatuated with Mickey Mouse. Ponyboy then explains to Cherry how Mickey Mouse's owner sold him for a decent amount of money because he was a pure quarter. Although Pony does not tell Cherry, he reveals to the reader that Sodapop bawled all night after losing Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately, Pony's family did not have the money to buy the horse, and Soda had to cope with the loss of Mickey Mouse.

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Mickey Mouse is a horse.  Sodapop really loves him, but since he is poor he does not have the money to keep him.

Ponyboy says the topic of Soda’s horse is “personal” but he tells Cherry anyway.  Soda used to work at the horse stables when Ponyboy was ten.  He was “horse crazy.”  Mickey Mouse is a horse that Soda seems to develop a strong bond with, but the horse wasn’t his. 

He'd come when Soda called him. He wouldn't come for anyone else. That horse loved Soda.  He'd stand there and chew on Soda's sleeve or collar. Gosh, but Sodapop was crazy about that horse. He went down to see him every day. (ch 3, p. 39)

However, one day the horse was just sold.  He was a really valuable horse, “pure quarter” and also mean.  Soda had “had bawled all night long after they came to get Mickey Mouse” but Ponyboy did not tell Cherry this. 

The story of Mickey Mouse is a good example of how Soda’s social class affected his life.  He wanted a horse from working at the stables, and the horse loved him as much as he loved it.  However, since he was poor the rich man who owned the horse could sell him for any reason, and Soda lost his horse.

By sharing this story with Cherry, a Soc, Pony is describing the life of a Greaser.

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