The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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In The Outsiders, what do the newspapers report about the fire and the three greasers who were on the scene? 

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 7, Ponyboy reads the newspaper article entitled "JUVENILE DELINQUENTS TURN HEROES," which elaborates on the boys' lives and their heroics. Ponyboy mentions that the article begins with stories concerning the fight between the Socs, the murder, the church burning, the Socs getting drunk often, and practically everything that gives the reader a background into the lives of Greasers. The article then explains how Johnny and Pony entered the burning church to save the lives of innocent children trapped inside. The article elaborates on the fight between the Socs, and Cherry Valance's comments are recorded, where she mentions that Bob was drunk and looking for trouble when he confronted Pony and Johnny. It is stated that the authorities are charging Johnny with manslaughter and Pony discovers that he is supposed to appear in juvenile court for running away. The article also portrays Dally as a hero and elaborates on the Curtis boys' positive traits. At the end of the article, Pony is depicted as a track star and it mentions that the Curtis brothers should not be separated. 

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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." Web. 07 May 2012. 

Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders,. New York: Viking, 1967. Print.

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