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by S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders Chapter 3 Summary
Cherry and Marcia don't have a ride home, so they agree to let Two-Bit give them a ride to the West side of town, which is about twenty miles away. As they walk to Two-Bit's house, Pony sees that the girls are getting over thinking of them as just Greasers. They're basically the same. Well, except for the money piece of it. Cherry says it's more than the money. She thinks Socs are numbly cool, and that Socs are highly emotional. She explains that Socs have too much, and don't have anything left to wish for. Yet, it's never enough. They're always looking for something more. Pony says, "That's why we're separated. […] It's not money, it's feeling – you don't feel anything, and we feel too violently" (3.6). Up to now, Pony has only been able to talk this freely with Soda. He's even telling Cherry about Soda's "buckskin horse" (3.11), named Mickey Mouse. It wasn't really his horse. Soda loved horses, and loved being at the rodeo or the stables. Mickey Mouse was a violent horse, always kicking and such. But he loved Soda and Soda loved him. One day, Mickey Mouse was sold. Soda cried, but Pony doesn't tell Cherry that part. Pony had cried too but, at thirteen, Soda knew his parents could never afford a horse; they barely made enough money for the basics. Cherry says she thinks Pony likes to read and likes to watch the sun set. It's true. He thinks, "Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset" (3.18). Uh-oh. A blue mustang is headed their way. Cherry says that it's Randy and Bob, their boyfriends. Cherry suggests they keep walking, like they don't notice the guys. The car goes past them and they feel relieved. Cherry asks Pony about Darry. Pony says Darry is mean and that Darry doesn't really want Pony around. He thinks Darry wants to "stick [him] in a home somewhere" (3.34). Two-Bit is shocked and tells Pony he's wrong. Johnny says he'd always assumed Darry and Pony liked each other. Pony realizes he does have it better than Johnny at home. But he's mad and embarrassed and keeps putting his foot in his mouth. He says, "An' you can shut your trap Johnny Cade, 'cause we all know you ain't wanted at home, either. And you can't blame them" (3.37). Johnny looks stunned and Two-Bit smacks Pony across the face. Pony apologizes to Johnny and says he didn't mean what he said. Johnny says that Pony is right—he's worthless. Two-Bit tells him he certainly isn't; that the gang really needs Johnny. Ponyboy cries out, "It ain't fair that we have all the rough breaks" (3.43). It seems like the Socs have everything—money, free time, parties. But, here on the East Side, everybody has it so hard. It doesn't seem right. The blue Mustang stops next to them this time, and the two guys in the front seat get out of the car. They're well dressed, and Ponyboy sees how ragged his own clothes are in comparison. Pony sees Johnny watching one of the Soc's hands, eyeing the rings on his fingers. He remembers that the Socs who beat him drove a blue Mustang. The Soc is talking to Cherry and Marcia. Cherry tells the Soc, Bob, that she isn't about to be with him when he's drunk. Bob says that they shouldn't be walking with "these bums" (3.52). Two-Bit speaks up and Bob reminds him that there are another four guys in the back of the car. Two-Bit grabs a bottle and breaks it, then puts a switchblade in Pony's hand. Cherry begs them not to fight and says that she and Marcia will get in the car. She hates fights. Pony tells her he wouldn't have used the knife. She tells Pony she likes him but that she can't let her friends or parents see her associating with him. He says he understands. Then she says, "I could fall in love with Dallas Winston. […] I hope I never see him again or I will" (3.65). They start walking home and Two-Bit leaves Johnny and Pony at the vacant lot. The boys lie on their backs and watch the stars and smoke and talk. Johnny tells Pony he's feeling desperate, like he might kill himself. Pony tells him he can't do that. He says he won't but that something has to change. He says, "It seems like there's gotta be someplace without greasers or Socs, with just people. Plain, ordinary people" (3.83). Ponyboy says it would be nice to be in the country. He falls asleep and starts dreaming of being in the country. He dreams his parents are there with him. After a time, Johnny wakes him up. Johnny plans to sleep in the lot. Pony tells him to come to their house if gets too cold. When he gets in, Darry is waiting for him. It's almost 2 a.m., and Darry is about to call the police. He's been so worried. Pony explains that he fell asleep, but this just makes Darry angrier. He keeps yelling at Ponyboy. Soda wakes up and starts to tell Darry to leave Pony alone, but Darry then yells at him too. Ponyboy screams at Darry not to yell at Soda, and Darry smacks Pony so hard he hits the floor. Pony heads for the door as Darry is apologizing. Pony runs back to Johnny and says they should run away. But, as they talk, he starts wishing for his warm bed. Darry doesn't have the right to keep that from him. So Pony decides he and Johnny will just walk over to the park, and then he'll go home. He thinks that things must start getting better for them soon. But they don't.
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