7th-Grade English Portfolio
My Portfolio Reflection
1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?
My writing at the beginning of the year was not very good. It had all of the necessary parts just it lacked the spark, the part that makes it more than just a boring essay. Now I've learned much, much more. I now try to make my essays and papers into something someone would be fascinated to read, while also following all of the directions.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.
My writing strengths are that I can find a theme and prove that the theme is reasonable with clear evidence. Also, I am good at finding the theme or the main message of books and explain it to my reader.
3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.
The writing skill I would like to develop next year is to be able to organize a flow of ideas. Although we have worked on it a bit by doing our perspectives and the different drafts, I still don't feel very confident in it.
4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.
I think the Hero's Journey essay really captures my growth as a writer and thinker. I worded it much more cleverly and said undeniable points that some didn't think of. Although there were a few errors, I put lots of hard work and effort and work into it.
5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.
I am the most proud of my Hero's Journey essay. As I said above, I put a lot of time and effort into this essay. Also, I feel it is one of my very best writing pieces.
Hero’s Journey Essay
Everyone must notice the beauty in life, fight for their dreams, and live life to it’s fullest potential. The Outsiders is full of beauty, sadness, tragedy,and life that Ponyboy has always been able to find. Ponyboy wants to become more than just a greaser and light that same passion in the other boys in his gang. Ponyboy begins to start finding that he’s not alone with his dream of reaching his full potential, he shares his passion with Johnny. The Outsiders follows the path of the Hero’s Journey because all of the steps in the Hero’s Journey are present in the book.
Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he witnesses two members of his gang dying, one a hero, and one a hoodlum. When Dally and Johnny die, Ponyboy finds a letter Johnny left for him in a book, Gone With The Wind. The story was all about how life is precious and everyone should savor it and dig up the beauty in it no matter how hidden it seems to be. When Johnny tells him to share this idea of the beauty of the world with Dally, he says, “It was too late to tell Dally”(179). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero must fight against his greatest fear and overcome it. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy has always feared dying a hoodlum, something he knows he isn’t, but that he appears to be. He knows he’s more and that and that Johnny is as well. What caused him to be so upset was that he knew Dally had a side of him that wasn’t a hoodlum, and that Johnny really was not one at all. Ponyboy feels less alone with his desire to become someone, to not be only a greaser. He would not allow himself to be just some burnout and everyone else should not either. Ponyboy realizes all he wants is for everyone to live up to their full potential. Ponyboy overcomes his biggest fear and decides to help out others, so no one else will fear that they are being underestimated.
In conclusion, The Outsiders is a great example of The Hero’s Journey because it has all the phases that are needed for it to be considered a Hero’s Journey. Ponyboy enters an environment or a lifestyle he’s unfamiliar with which leads to another has an emotional or physical change. Afterwards, Ponyboy must battle with his worst fear and overcome it so he can return to his daily life. S.E. Hinton wanted her readers to see that it doesn’t matter where someone is from or what someone has been through, they can become whomever they dream to be. Just because they look like a hoodlum, doesn’t mean that they can not be a hero. She wants everyone to be the best them there is, and live up to their fullest potential.
The world in The Giver by Lois Lowry is a dystopia because it lacks freedom and many of the beautiful things in life.
The community is a place that is very safe but doesn’t have many of the things that Jonas finds that he enjoys most about life. Jonas has a special job in his community that fills him with knowledge or memories of the past, and he’s starting to realize that he wishes things were how they used to be. It strongly troubles Jonas that many beautiful things are being taken away from him and others. Then Jonas then feels compelled to ask, “‘Do you love me?’ There was an awkward silence for a moment then father gave a little chuckle. ‘Jonas, you of all people. Precision of language, please’” (120). This means that Jonas is trying to activate, or test, to see if others have the deep emotions that he experiences in the memories he is given. Clearly, Jonas did not get the heart-felt response he expected. This proves that in the community, precision of language is more important than love, which is a very strong, enjoyable emotion in life. The people in the community are blinded from all of the amazing things that Jonas is newly discovering! Jonas starts seeing that Gabe is like him. He has the same pale colored eyes and can receive memories of different ways of life. He notices that the happy, blissful memories help Gabe get to sleep more soundly. This leads to Jonas getting in the habit of giving, “memories to Gabriel; memories of boat rides and picnics under the sun; memories of soft rainfall against windowpanes; memories of dancing barefoot on a damp lawn” (121). This is proving that so many little things in life are being hidden to avoid any form of a conflict. Although, when people avoid facing problems or taking risks, the adventure of life loses all of its meaning. Also, many things are lost that matter so much more than safety or protection. Honestly, Life in The Giver is simply not a life worth living.
In conclusion, Lois Lowry’s message to her readers would have to be that we should be grateful for all the issues thrown at us during our lives because the most beautiful things usually come along with them.