Author’s craft is a variation of ways authors use literary techniques to make a story more compelling. This character analysis will be on Sherri “Cherry” Valance. Everyone calls her Cherry because of her red hair. Cherry is static and round. She is static because her attitude towards Ponyboy does not change throughout the story, even when her boyfriend gets killed. She stays thoughtful and kind to Ponyboy. She is round because on the outside most people see a Soc who doesn’t have any worries, issues, or problems in her life. Throughout the story you learn from Cherry that the Socs and the Greasers have a lot of the same problems, just the Socs do not show them. S.E. Hinton uses the author’s craft tool of physical characteristics, thoughts, and behavior to build the character of Cherry.
In the book The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton crafts the character of Cherry Valance through her physical characteristics. Within the first couple of chapters it’s obvious Cherry plays an important role in the story. In the beginning Cherry introduces herself like this, “‘My name’s Sherri, but I’m called Cherry because of my hair’”. Red hair is not very common amongst people. Cherry is a lot different than the other Socs, so the author used the red hair to show that. Another way the author used this tool is how she made Ponyboy describe Cherry. Ponyboy described Cherry as, “‘A real looker’”. That’s another thing that makes Cherry different is she stands out. Her friend was cute but Cherry would’ve been able to turn heads. That added to her character because even being blessed with beauty she didn’t look down on Ponyboy and Johnny. The uniqueness and beauty of Cherry help her stand out from the other Socs. This develops her character through the author’s craft tool of physical characteristics.
Another tool used by the author is dialogue. Throughout the story Cherry expresses her thoughts through dialogue quite a bit. Towards the beginning Cherry tells Ponyboy and Johnny, “You two are too sweet to scare anyone”. Cherry calls them sweet because they don’t join in with Dally as he is harassing them, but she knows they’re not innocent because they’ve seen too much to be innocent. Her dialogue shows that she is observant. Another way you can know Cherry’s thoughts through dialogue is when she expresses them when talking with Ponyboy about how The Socs have problems just like the greasers do. They just can’t express them so they end up lashing out on the Greasers . Cherry voices her thoughts which contribute to the author’s craft tool of dialogue.
The last author’s craft tool used by the author is behavior. In the story you can see how Cherry’s behavior depicts how she is different, but still a Soc. Cherry and Ponyboy were having a meaningful conversation and Cherry felt like she was really getting through to Ponyboy. Then, she tells him to not take it personally that she probably wouldn’t smile or wave to him at school because she could not have her parents know that she had been conversing with a Greaser . This behavior shows she cares a lot about her image, like most Socs do. Another way Cherry shows behavior is by being a mediator between the Socs and the Greasers. She is a spy for the Greasers but mostly for the reason she wants a fair fight and she feels bad for what happened (Hinton 94). Most of the others Socs wouldn’t do that but Cherry believes in doing the right thing. Cherry’s actions unfold the S.E. Hinton use of the author’s craft tool of Behavior.
The character Cherry was established through physical characteristics, dialogue, and behavior. Cherry was a lot different then the other Socs. First off, she was drop dead gorgeous. Next, she was observant and understanding. Lastly, she was fair and always tried to do what was right. Cherry stays the same from start to finish even when her boyfriend dies, but it is possible to learn different perspectives about her and other Socs after reading The Outsiders.
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