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The Good in Being Different in The Life of Cherry Valance

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Anne Frank once said, “We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.” Sometimes we may face a difficult situation such as a death, divorce, or foreclosure that will make life very difficult but in the end, all we want is to be happy. Even if it means forgiving the person that made you miserable. Cherry Valance, a rich and spoiled Soc who deals with the terrible tragedy of her boyfriend dying, realizes that different can be good.

Going to the movies usually doesn’t change lives. Well, for Cherry Valance, it did. If Cherry hadn’t talked to the Greasers, her boyfriend wouldn’t be dead, and there would be no rumble. But, let me start from the beginning. Cherry and her friend Marcia, along with their boyfriends decide to go to the movies. When the boys bring alcohol, they get in a big fight so the guys leave. A few short minutes later, a group of Greaser boys show up and after getting in an argument with a very rude Greaser, Cherry and Marcia befriend the rest of the group. At the end of the movie, the boys offer to walk them home. The girls’ mistake is accepting their offer. Halfway to the houses, the blue Mustang that contains Cherry and Marcia’s boyfriends rolls up. It angers the boys that their girlfriends are with some dirty Greasers. Bob states “ And even if you are mad at us, that’s no reason to go walking the streets with these bums,” (45). Everything started to go downhill from there.

Cherry and Pony may have different backgrounds, but soon they realize, that they’re not as different as they think. Now, let’s rewind, Cherry and Pony meet at the movies, which is where it all starts. After meeting each other, they talk, and get to know each other, and soon come to discover that they both like to watch sunsets. It seems funny to them that they watch the same sunset, that Cherry, a Soc can have anything in common with a greaser like Pony. They come to the conclusion that maybe the two worlds they are living in aren’t so different. Before Cherry leaves with her boyfriend she reminds him that “some of us watch the sunset too” (46). Later in the book, Johnny kills Bob, defending Pony, and they go into hiding. Once they are safe to come out, they find that the church is on fire because of them, and there are kids in it. Feeling guilty, Johnny and Ponyboy try to rescue the kids. In the process, Johnny gets injured very badly, and is about to die. After everything is over, and nobody’s in trouble for running away from the police, Cherry finds it hard to forgive Johnny after what he did to Bob. In the end, Pony is upset that she won’t go visit Johnny, but realizes that it’s rough all over, and says ‘“can you see the sunset real good from the West Side?” Cherry blinked , startled, then smiled. “Real good.” “You can see it good from the East Side, too,”’ (130).

Forgiving a person that has hurt you, or someone close to you, can be difficult. It’s easier to hold a grudge than forgive them. Forgiving Johnny, and not holding a grudge against him, is one of the challenges Cherry faces throughout the course of the book. She says, “But I couldn’t ever look at the person who killed him.” (168) This indicates that she finds it hard to forgive Johnny for killing Bob. However, she does learn to forgive the Greasers as a group. It is shown she forgives them when she warns Ponyboy and the and his friends about the rumble that will happen. and wants to help them. She doesn’t have to warn them. In fact, it would be easier for her not, to because she is supposed be on the Soc’s side. However, she becomes neutral because she forgives the Greasers and does not want to see anyone else dead or hurt. Cherry learns that forgiving people is always the right thing to do, no matter what they have done in the past, and that the mistakes people make should never define them.

Being rich and spoiled shields Cherry Valance from the real world, but after going through the heartbreak of her boyfriend dying, she realizes that different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She is one of the most interesting characters because she becomes neutral instead of staying on the Soc’s side. Though she has to deal with horrible and depressing things happening to her, she is able to realize that we can put our differences behind us, and become friends.

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The Good in Being Different in the Life of Cherry Valance. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from
“The Good in Being Different in the Life of Cherry Valance.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018,
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