If you were to give Cherry Valance from The Outsiders an award, what would it be and why?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I would give Cherry Valence the "Oracle Award."  There's no such award.  I made it up, and it's referencing The Oracle from The Matrix. The Oracle is the woman that has the ability to see special qualities about a person and even divine future events.  She's very mystical and vague in the movies, but there is no doubt that she gives each hero character exactly the information that he/she needs to hear at that particular moment.  

Cherry Valence is The Oracle of The Outsiders.  She speaks the truth regardless of the consequences.  That's super obvious when she tells Dally to get lost and tosses the Coke in his face. 

She gave him an incredulous look; and then she threw her Coke in his face. "That might cool you off, greaser. After you wash your mouth and learn to talk and act decent, I might cool off, too."

Cherry also has an uncanny ability to know and understand a person from an extremely limited time with that person.  Cherry immediately grasps that something bad happened to Johnny to make him the way that he is.  

She smiled and her eyes showed that her mind was on something else. "Johnny... he's been hurt bad sometime, hasn't he?" It was more of a statement than a question. "Hurt and scared."

After Ponyboy explains what happened to Johnny, Cherry continues to show her "Oracle" abilities when she doesn't immediately sympathize with Ponyboy and the Greasers.  She doesn't tell Pony what he wants to hear from her; she tells him what he needs to hear.  

"All Socs aren't like that," she said. "You have to believe me, Ponyboy. Not all of us are like that. . . I'll bet you think the Socs have it made. The rich kids, the West-side Socs. 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." 

Her statement gave Ponyboy the ability to begin seeing past the Greaser/Soc divide.  She gave him the beginning confidence to start looking at Socs as people.  That's why she deserves the Oracle Award.  

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