The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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Why do you think Ponyboy and Cherry became good friends in The Outsiders?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Ponyboy and Cherry Valance seem to get along because both characters are sympathetic, tolerant individuals, who are able to see eye-to-eye on many issues regarding their social groups and environments. Both characters do not judge each other based on their appearances or social groups when they initially meet at the drive-in movies. Cherry is also a good listener and allows Ponyboy to describe his upbringing and elaborate on Johnny's fears. Likewise, Pony does not judge Cherry for being a Soc and allows her to lament about her social group. By the end of their first conversation, both characters gain insight into each other's lives and social groups. As the novel progresses, Cherry and Pony remain friends and share a unique connection. They also have similar interests and both characters enjoy watching sunsets, which highlights their sensitive, understanding personalities. Overall, Ponyboy and Cherry become close friends because they are both tolerant, sympathetic people, who take time to listen to each other and connect on various emotional levels.

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allyson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Ponyboy is a genuinely nice kid. He does not have any ulterior motives than to just be friends with Cherry, unlike just about every other guy. When Darry harasses her, Ponyboy and Johnny do not like it. After Darry leaves, they strike up a conversation with the girls. Through the conversation, Ponyboy and Cherry realize that although they are supposed to hate each other (rival gangs), they actually have a lot in common. When Ponyboy tells Cherry about Darry's near-death caused by the Socs, Cherry replies, "it's rough all over." Both kids are suffering due to their circumstances, but are able to share that fact with each other, which really is the basis of a great friendship.

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ik9744 | Student

Ponyboy is the nicest Greaser to Cherry, and they both hate hurting people.