Author S. E. Hinton uses imagery throughout the first chapter of The Outsiders in her vivid descriptions of the main characters. The Socs are brought to life through Ponyboy's narration of their dress--"blue madras" shirts--and the smell of "English Leather shaving lotion and stale tobacco." Darry's eyes are compared to "pale blue-green ice." Soda's good looks are "movie-star kind of handsome," and Pony details the color of his eyes and hair to the sun and "wheat-gold." Two-Bit Mathews is carefully drawn from his "stocky" build to the rust color of his sideburns; and Dallas Winston comes to life through his "elfish face," "sharp animal teeth," lynx-like ears, and a detailed account of his blonde hair.
Many of the examples of imagery in the first chapter of The Outsiders deal with the physical descriptions of the main characters. From these examples of imagery, which use figurative language to describe the gang members, the reader gets to understand the characters better. For example, Ponyboy describes Darry's eyes as "two pieces of pale blue-green ice." From this description, the reader knows Darry is intense and determined. On the other hand, Ponyboy describes Sodapop's eyes in the following way: "His eyes are dark brown—lively, dancing, recklessly laughing eyes that can be gentle and sympathetic one moment and blazing with anger the next." From this description, the reader understands that Sodapop is vivacious and quick to anger but also kind. On the other hand, Dally's eyes are "blue, blazing ice, cold with a hatred of the whole world." The use of the words "blazing ice" and "cold" helps the reader understand Dally's sense of internal anger.