After the fight with the Socs, young Greasers Johnny and Ponyboy run away and hide in an old church which then catches fire while some children on a field trip are playing in it. The boys learn how the public views these events afterward.
Steve tells Ponyboy that the headline in the paper read “JUVENILE DELINQUENTS TURN HEROES” on the front page of the second section. (p. 107). Ponyboy finds the article interesting.
The article told how Johnny and I had risked our lives saving those little kids, and there was a comment from one of the parents, who said that they would all have burned to death if it hadn't been for us. (p. 108)
Ponyboy notes that the article describes the fight in a way that is sympathetic to the Greasers, and even calls Dally a hero even though Johnny knows he won’t like it because it did not include his police record, “which he was kind of proud of” (p. 108).
Ponyboy’s reaction to the newspaper article is typical to his selfless personality. As the enotes character description for Ponyboy notes “the beauty of Ponyboy's character is that though he emerges strong and confident at the end of the book, it is not the result of becoming a tough hood but of remaining true to himself” (enotes character analysis, Ponyboy). Ponyboy does not want to be a hero. He just wants to be left alone to be himself.
Enotes. "The Outsiders." Enotes.com. Enotes.com. Web. 07 May 2012.
Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders,. New York: Viking, 1967. Print.