Why does Johnny become more talkative in Chapter 2 of The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Painfully shy and badly needing a boost in confidence, Johnny got it when he was invited to sit with the beautiful Soc girls, Cherry and Marcia. Johnny had already exhibited his courage when he defended the girls against his idol, Dallas Winston.

     "Leave her alone, Dally."
     "Huh?" Dally was taken off guard. He stared at Johnny in disbelief. Johnny couldn't say "Boo" to a goose. Johnny gulped and got a little pale, but he said, "You heard me. Leave her alone."

Cherry admired Johnny's tough-talk with Dally, and Johnny was impressed with Cherry, too. Once he was seated next to her and saw that she meant what she said when she told them they could "protect us," Johnny became more at ease. Cherry called Johnny and Pony "sweet," and he knew that he and Pony would have some stories to tell the other greasers about watching a movie with two Soc girls.