John Tayeri

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

1. The difference between my writing from the beginning of the year and now, would be that I didn't have enough reasoning, and good explaining, but I think that throughout the year, I have been getting constantly better.

2. My writing strengths are my correct grammar, my introductions, and my conclusions.

3. I would like to continue to develop my commentary, and use more detail to describe my writing. I am also looking forward to improving my thesis statements. I am good at writing these, but I think that there is still room for improvement.

4. I like books that are full of action, and i like many books that take place in the past. This is the type of book The Outsiders is.

What do people think when they hear the word hero? They are probably thinking of heroes like Spiderman, Superman, Captain America. All of these heroes have super powers, making them superheroes. Superheroes have incredible abilities, so they can defeat evil forces that are everywhere. Even though a person would think of a superhero, they are not the only kind of hero. Every hero has to go on a hero’s journey, like Ponyboy Curtis. He does not have the ability to fly, but he goes on a hero’s journey, and returns to everyday life with a gift. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey, because he travels through the three required phases of a monomyth.

Ponyboy experiences the Separation from the known when Ponyboy finds out Johnny kills Bob, and they are forced to run away before the police come. Ponyboy is almost drowned by Socs at the park, but he wakes up and finds out Johnny stabbed and killed Bob the Soc. Johnny says, “We gotta get outta here. Get somewhere. Run away. The police’ll be here soon.” (57). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero is forced to leave the world that he or she is comfortable with because of an event that just occurred, and the hero feels discontent. The hero usually has a threshold guardian, or a helper that provides assistance. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy gets separated from the know. Johnny forces himself and Ponyboy to run far away, from the city to the country, from the known to the unknown. He is not comfortable because he is getting chased by the police, he is separated from his brothers, and because Johnny kills Bob, Cherry’s Boyfriend.

Ponyboy experiences the Initiation when Ponyboy first gets to the church, and he realizes it is a lot harder to live in the country than in the city. Johnny and Ponyboy finally arrive at the abandoned church, and Ponyboy is thinking, “But this Church gave me a kind of creepy feeling. What do you call it? Premonition? I flopped down on the floor - and immediately decided not to do more flopping. The floor was stone, and hard” (67). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the Initiation is when the hero goes into a psychological or physical unknown. At this time, the hero also experiences many challenges as well. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy’s unknown is moving from city to country. this unknown is both psychological and physical. There are many other challenges that Ponyboy experiences, like how he is a criminal. This is because he decided to go along with Johnny, who killed a boy. He also has a negative experience with Darry, because Darry always bosses Ponyboy around, and the night Johnny kills Johnny, Darry slaps him in the face, forcing Ponyboy to leave. One of the biggest unknowns, is that he realizes he is different than most Greasers, because Ponyboy watches sunsets and reads poems, unlike any other greasers he knows.

Ponyboy continues going to experience the Initiation when his brother Darry is going to take on Paul, in the rumble. Darry says he will take on anybody, so Paul, comes out of the crowd of Socs, to take on Darry They are walking in circles, waiting for eachother to make the first move, and Ponyboy thinks, “Even I could feel their hatred. They used to be buddies, I thought, they used to be friends, and now they hate each other because one has to work for a living, and the other comes from the west side. They shouldn’t hate each other… I don’t hate the Socs anymore… they shouldn’t hate” (143). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of the initiation is when the hero is at his or her low point, and has to face his greatest fear. Then, the hero views life differently in a dramatic change. In The Outsiders, at the rumble, Ponyboy goes through the Revelation and the atonement. He realizes that Darry and Paul were friends. Now, they hate each other, because they come from different parts of town, or because one puts grease on their. Ponyboy then realizes that they should not hate each other. He doesn’t know why he should fight as well. All of the Greasers have a reason to fight, some because they like contests, some because of their hatred for the Socs, and Darry fights because he likes to show off his muscles. Ponyboy though, never had a good reason to fight. He simply did, because everybody else does.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he returns a gift to the world, the theme that he writes, to show an Outsider’s Perspective. Johnny died from a fire in the church, trying to save the children trapped inside. Ponyboy is at his house, reading a letter from Johnny. When he is done reading it, he is thinking, “Someone should tell their side of the story, and maybe people would understand then and wouldn’t be so quick to judge a boy by the amount of hair oil he wore” (179). In the hero’s Journey is when the hero goes back to the normal life he lived before The Call to Adventure. The hero usually returns with a “gift” he gives to the world. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy returns to everyday life. His gift, is the theme that he writes to his English teacher, so he can get a C in the class. He writes about life from a Greaser’s perspective, people that work for a living. He does this for Johnny, and he wants to tell the world, beginning with his English teacher.

In Conclusion, in the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders, written by S.E. Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey because he goes through each step and phase of the monomyth. Ponyboy experiences the Separation from the known when Johnny kills Bob, and they are forced to run away before the police come. Ponyboy experiences the initiation when he first gets to the country, and he realizes it will be much a much different and harder life than in the city. Ponyboy experiences the initiation (part 2), hen his brother Darry, will take on the Soc, Paul, in the rumble. Lastly, Ponyboy experiences the return to everyday life, and returns with a gift, when he writes the theme, from an Outsider’s perspective. It is possible someone could have hammer that nobody but him could carry, or that someone can turn into a big, green, destructive monster by getting angry, but it is not likely. A hero’s journey could benefit everybody, and it could occur to anyone, but they must be ready for a challenge.

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