The next night, Ponyboy and Johnny go with Dally to a double feature at the drive-in movie theater. They sit behind a pair of Soc girls, and Dally begins to talk dirty in an attempt to embarrass the girls. The girl with red hair turns around and coolly tells him to stop, but Dally continues to make suggestive remarks. He goes to buy Cokes, and Ponyboy talks to the red-haired girl, Cherry Valance. They talk about the rodeo and about Sodapop, whom Cherry describes as a “doll.” She asks what became of Sodapop, and although the admission embarrasses him, Ponyboy says that Sodapop dropped out of school to work in a gas station. Cherry and her friend Marcia invite Ponyboy and Johnny to watch the movie with them. Dally comes back and offers a Coke to Cherry, but she throws it in his face. Dally tries to put his arm around her. When he will not listen to Cherry’s protests, the usually quiet Johnny stuns Dally by telling him not to bother the girls.
Dally storms off, and the boys sit with the girls and watch the movie. Two-Bit, one of Ponyboy’s friends, comes to announce that Dally has slashed Tim Shepard’s tyres and is going to have to fight him. Tim Shepard is the leader of another greaser gang. Two-Bit explains the greasers’ two main rules: always stick together and never get caught.
Cherry and Ponyboy go to get popcorn, and Ponyboy tells her about the time the Socs beat up Johnny. The leader of the gang that beat him, Ponyboy says, wore a fistful of rings. Cherry looks distressed and assures him that not all Socs are violent like the Socs that beat Johnny. She also tells him that Socs have problems just as the greasers do, but Ponyboy does not believe her.
- Why do you think Ponyboy doesn’t like telling the girls that Sodapop is a ‘dropout?’
- Describe what happens to Johnny, according to Ponyboy’s narration.
- Why does Ponyboy not believe Marcia when she says that the Socs have problems, just like the Greasers? Do you think everyone has problems?