by S.E. Hinton
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
In "Tone" we suggest that The Outsiders has the feel of an exposé, or a piece of investigative journalism. The frequent references to newspapers contribute to this feel. Before the reporters come to the hospital to interview Pony and his brothers after the fire, Pony seems to think that the papers are somewhat biased toward the Socials and against the Greasers. But, after the fire, Pony observes that the papers actually tell the truth. Like the novel itself, the papers offer a deeper perspective on Greasers by portraying them as heroes, and telling the story of their struggles against the bullying and violence committed by the Socs. In The Outsiders, the papers become a symbol of the media's power to show hidden things and to make a difference in the lives of those whose stories might otherwise remain hidden.