The Outsiders: Chapter Eight Summary and Questions

Two-Bit and Ponyboy go to see Johnny and Dally in the hospital. Johnny, weak and pale, whispers that he would like Ponyboy to finish reading Gone with the Wind to him. His mother shows up to visit, but she is a mean-spirited, nagging woman and Johnny refuses to see her. As Ponyboy and Two-Bit leave, she accosts them and blames them for Johnny’s condition, and Two-Bit insults her.

Dally is recovering nicely in the hospital, and for the first time ever Ponyboy feels warmly toward Dally. Dally says that Tim Shepard, the leader of another gang of greasers, came in to talk about the rumble. Dally asks for Two-Bit’s black-handled switchblade, and Two-Bit gladly hands over his prized possession without even asking why Dally needs it.

On the way home, Ponyboy and Two-Bit see Cherry Valance in her Corvette. She says that the Socs have agreed to fight with no weapons. Ponyboy asks her to go see Johnny, but she says she cannot because Johnny killed Bob. She says that Bob had a sweet side and was only violent when drunk, as he was when he beat up Johnny. Ponyboy calls her a traitor, but he quickly forgives her. He asks her if she can see the sunset on the West Side, and when she says she can, he tells her to remember that he can see it on the East Side too.

Questions:

  1. What does Ponyboy mean when he says to Cherry that he can see the sunset on the East side too?
  2. Write a letter to Johnny’s mother, expressing your disgust at the way he is treated by his family.
  3. Why do you think that Dally wanted a blade? Explain.
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