Matt Ozgen

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My writing at the beginning of the year was okay. It wasn't very good, but it wasn't very bad. It had some flaws but overall it was just ok. Now my writing is way better than it was before. I think my writing strengths are writing paragraphs with deep thought. The writing skill that I want to develop next year is to improve my paragraph writing. The thing that I liked best about reading this novel is that it was very emotional but it also had some humor. Also, it changed the way I view the world.

When most people think of heroes, they think of superheroes, like Captain America, Spiderman, Thor, or anyone like that. Well, those are not the only kinds of heroes. There are other, less exciting heroes. For example, Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders who goes on a Hero’s Journey. He does not have the ability to destroy things with a hammer, but to return as a normal person with a gift. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, the main character Ponyboy 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 he and Johnny leave Buck’s house after receiving money, advice, and a loaded gun from Dally. They get on a train to Jay Mountain to hide from the police. After Johnny kills Bob in the vacant lot, Johnny tells Pony “‘I killed him,’ he said slowly. ‘I killed that boy’” (56). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the known is when the hero leaves his comfortable and familiar world, like when Pony and Johnny leave Tulsa and go to Windrixville to Jay Mountain. His feeling of discontent is that he and his brother Darry do not get along and that his parents have passed away. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he and Johnny go to Buck Merril’s house and they receive advice and gifts from Dally. They go to a church at the top of Jay Mountain and they stay there for a while. While Pony and Johnny are there, they bond and become closer friends.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he and Johnny risk their lives to save the children from from the burning church where they had been staying at the top of Jay Mountain. When Pony, Dally and Johnny see the burning church and they hear that there are still children inside the church. The quote “‘I’ll get them, don’t worry!’” shows that Pony run into the church to save the kids. Johnny shortly follows. The quote shows that Pony and Johnny risk their lives to save the kids because they believe that they were the ones who start the fire from their burning cigarettes. In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through challenges and attempts to pass tests. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he and Johnny risk their lives to save the kids from the burning church. This is a test for Pony because they were the ones who set the church on fire and they might not survive. In addition, it is their responsibility to save the kids because they were the ones who set it on fire.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he feels that the Greasers and the Socs should not fight. Before Pony and the Greasers leave from the house to the empty lot for the rumble, Pony says that he thinks fighting is very negative. In the book, Pony narrates “Why do I fight? I thought, and couldn’t think of any real good reason. There isn’t any real good reason for fighting except self-defense”(137). The quote shows that Ponyboy has changed his thought about fighting. He now thinks that fighting is useless. In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero witnesses a transformation that causes him to view the world differently. There are four steps in the second part of The Initiation. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he is in The Transformation stage and says that the Greasers and the Socs should not fight anymore. He also says that fighting is bad. His view of fighting has changed because of what happened when Johnny killed Bob. He started to think about the good side that Bob would sometimes show, according to Cherry.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he comes out of his concussion and becomes a better brother. He becomes a better brother after Sodapop runs away and he and Darry agree to not fight anymore. Darry requests, “‘No more fights. Okay, Ponyboy?’ Darry said. ‘Okay,’ I said.” (177). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero comes back to the known from the unknown. The hero typically returns with some sort of gift. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he comes out of his concussion and realizes that he wants to be a better brother. He becomes a better brother when Soda runs off. The reason that Sodapop left is because he cannot stand it when Ponyboy and Darry fight. Pony and Darry agree to not fight anymore and Soda comes back home. Pony’s “gift” to the world is the book, The Outsiders. This is his gift because he writes about his experiences and the recent journey that he has gone on.

In conclusion, Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey in The Outsiders because he travels through the three required phases of a monomyth. Overall, after running from home to go to an abandoned church to hide from the police, saving kids from a burning church, changing his thought about fighting, and becoming a better brother, Pony becomes a better and new person because of the recent journey that he has been on.

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