The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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In The Outsiders, why does Ponyboy remind Cherry that they both watch the same sunsets?

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Ponyboy says that sunset line to Cherry in chapter 3.  Cherry is about to leave with a group of Soc boys in order to prevent a fight from breaking out in front of her. Just as she turns to leave, Ponyboy says,

"Just don't forget that some of us watch the sunset too."

His comment is meant remind Cherry that Socs and Greasers aren't so different from each other. Taking this quote out of context as just a single line, though, does the quote a disservice. The sunset concept is not first introduced to readers by Ponyboy at this point in the story. About five pages earlier, Cherry intuited that Ponyboy watched sunsets, and she admitted to watching them as well.

"I could just tell. I'll bet you watch sunsets, too." She was quiet for a minute after I nodded. "I used to watch them, too, before I got so busy . . ."

Cherry admitted this similarity to Ponyboy, and it struck him as unique and important. It's another instance when Cherry forces Ponyboy to consider the idea that Socs and Greasers are more alike than different. They both have struggles, and they both have similar loves.

I shook my head. It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset.

This is part of what makes Cherry such a great character. She is capable of getting Ponyboy to see a bigger picture, and she first begins doing this following the flashback story in chapter 2. She tells Ponyboy that stereotyping all Socs and Greasers is not fair. More importantly, she tells Ponyboy to consider the fact that the Socs don't have it as good as it initially appears.

"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.

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Ponyboys wants to tell Cherry that they're not so different.  He may live on "the wrong side of the tracks" and she may be a rich Soc, but they're both teenagers who see the same sunset.  They live in the same town and are separated by social class, but Ponyboys wants her to know that that in itself doesn't make them totally different. 

On the way home from the movies at the Nightly Double, Pony and Cherry talk a lot and reveal things about themselves that they probably never would have imagined telling a "Soc" or a "greaser" in another situation.  They realized how much they had in common, but as soon as Bob pulled up, things had to go back to the way they'd been before.

Later in the book, Pony reminds Cherry that they both see the same sunset. 

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excalbiur | Student

Ponyboy and Cherry both think on a higher level than any of their friends surrounding them, they both realized that they have so much in common even being a "greaser" or a "soc". Their social class' show the difference between them, they both were able to easily talk with each other when they were alone after the movie they had seen, however when Bob had appeared thing went back to the way there were. Everything came into perspective for Ponyboy as he realized that life isn't as it seems, not all the "Socs" are how they are percieved to by the "greasers". Some of them actually have commonalities that Ponyboy may have. The art of perception plays a big role in this book as many of the charcters are forced to be put inside a imaginary box.

sara14 | Student

in  short to show her that they are the same afterall !