Why was Ponyboy uncomfortable with the insults to the girls?

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dswain001's profile pic

dswain001 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Because the girls are Socs, Ponyboy is uncomfortable with the way Dallas speaks to them. He knows that this is typical behavior for Dallas and even admits that had the Cherry and Marcia been "greaser girls" he would have joined in. Still, the fact that they are Soc girls and they attend his school makes him uncomfortable and reluctant to assist Dally in "talking dirty" to the girls.

Ponyboy's reluctance is further evidence that Ponyboy views the Socs differently than he does himself and the people in his neighborhood. Throughout the novel, he insists that he is just as good as any Soc, but it is obvious that deep down he doesn't feel that way initially. It is possible that he is jealous of the lives the kids on the Westside live. Perhaps after being treated like a second class citizen for so long, he has begun to believe that is what he and the people in his community are. Why else would he show respect to Cherry and Marcia when, according to him, he wouldn't have minded if they were greaser girls.

ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

In S. E. Hinton's novel "The Outsiders," the theme is the division of class.  Ponyboy is a "Greaser" and the girls, Cherry and Marcia are "Socs."  When they were at the drive-in Dally begins to give the girls a hard time.  He is insulting and rude.  Ponyboy doesn't approve of this because, even though he is a "Greaser" he is a good kid.  He goes to school with these girls and doesn't hold any type of grudge against them.  He is very old fashioned and believes people should be treated with respect unless they disrespect him.  He is too afraid of Dally to tell him to stop, but Johnny tells Darry to stop, and when Dally leaves Ponyboy and Johnny end up sitting with the girls.

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