Study Guide

The Outsiders Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

  • 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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