In this chapter, everything starts to go downhill even if it may not look like it. Dally takes Ponyboy and Johnny to the Nightly Double, a drive-in that shows four movies on the weekends (I don’t believe they stick around for all four, though). While there, Ponyboy and Johnny end up making the acquaintance of two Soc girls – Cherry and Marcia. Cherry and Ponyboy kind of hit it off right away and he ends up telling her what happened to Johnny a few weeks past (which is that a bunch of Socs beat him up and Johnny’s been extra scared and jumpy ever since and he’d started carrying around a six-inch switchblade).
In this chapter, you really start to get a sense of just how much the gang cares for Johnny. Like how Dally didn’t do anything to him when he told Dally to leave Cherry alone. Or how Two-Bit apologizes after inadvertently scaring Johnny. Or just about everything Ponyboy tells Cherry about when Johnny got beat up. I love how much the entire gang sticks up for each other, but especially Johnnycake. And Johnny defending Cherry is an indication of the bravery he’ll show later in the book.
Couple other things I dig in this chapter: how Cherry reacts to Ponyboy’s name (“That’s an original and lovely name” [p. 22]) and how Johnny “left hastily to get a Coke” (p. 21) when Dally started talking dirty to Cherry and Marcia. MY PRECIOUS CHILD. (Johnny. Not Dally.)
Quotes I Like:
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.” (p. 24) (you go, Cherry!)
When you’re a gang, you stick up for the members. If you don’t stick up for them, stick together, make like brothers, it isn’t a gang anymore. It’s a pack. A snarling, distrustful pack…” (p. 26)
I don’t care too much for girls yet. Soda says I’ll grow out of it. He did. (p. 31) (LOL)
~What kind of problems do you think the Socs face?
~Can you see why Cherry said “I kind of admire him” (p. 27) about Dally?
Until next time!