Marcia in The Outsiders

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In the S.E. Hinton novel, 'The Outsiders', some minor characters are introduced to back up themes of the story. Marcia only appears in the foreground once in the story, but she brings home the theme that there is more to the Socs and the Greasers than the stereotypes. In this lesson, we will learn more about Marcia.

Not All Socs Are the Same

In this lesson, we will explore Marcia's character in the S.E. Hinton novel, The Outsiders. Marcia is a minor character in the story who does not contribute much to the plot line. However, her kinship with Two-Bit and differences from Cherry lead the reader to conclude that not all Socs are alike, just like all Greasers are not alike.


Marcia, a Soc, is one of Cherry Valance's closest friends. Ponyboy, Johnny, and Two-Bit meet Marcia and Cherry at the drive-in after Cherry and Marcia walk out on their boyfriends, Bob and Randy, for bringing alcohol on their double-date.

Comparing Cherry and Marcia

What sets Marcia apart from Cherry? Marcia, like Cherry, likes the Beatles and is a barrel racer, but they are very different in other ways. After Dally talks dirty to them at the drive-in, Marcia asks Johnny and Ponyboy to sit with them for protection. Then, based on principle, when Dally tries to buy them a coke, Cherry throws it in Dally's face. On the other hand, Marcia sees no reason to waste it and accepts the soda. Marcia also has very little filter. She says whatever pops into her head. Cherry is more tactful and steps in and covers up for Marcia when she almost tells Johnny he looks fourteen although he is actually sixteen.

Scatterbrained Sense of Humor

While not as strikingly beautiful as Cherry, Marcia is small and cute with dark hair. Two-Bit normally goes for Greaser blondes, but he really hits it off with Marcia because they are so much alike. They both have the 'same scatterbrained sense of humor,' narrates Pony. When Two-Bit and Marcia first meet and he asks Pony and Johnny how they managed to pick up some Soc girls, she has a quick comeback.

'We really picked them up,' Marcia said, 'We're really Arabian slave traders and we're thinking about shanghaiing them. They're worth ten camels apiece at least.'

Marcia tells Two-Bit that they are Arabian slave traders.
Arabian Slave Traders

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