Leland Ling

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

At the beginning of the year, writing was hard for me and it was not fun. But at the end of the year, writing is a little easier than before. Though I still do not like writing, I can write and come up with ideas. I consider as my writing strength that I can come up with ideas when I write. I consider this my best strength because when I write, I do not really stop writing to think about ideas. I would like to improve my elaboration skills next year because even though I think up ideas, it never really has any depth. And thats why I would like to improve my elaboration skills. The Outsiders was a good book and I enjoyed reading it. I liked learning about the Hero's Journey that was inside the book.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

Many people revere Heroes as the superhuman. But how are they a hero? These people are heroes because they go through something called the “Hero’s Journey”. And anyone can be a hero if the person goes through the “Hero’s Journey”. In the book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, a boy named Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey. Though some people do not see Ponyboy is not a very significant hero, he is definitely a hero because he goes through the Hero’s Journey. Anyone can be a hero if they go through the Hero’s Journey

Johnny kills Bob to save Ponyboy after the Socs jump them, because Johnny and Ponyboy are Greasers.. This happens when Darry hits Ponyboy, and Ponyboy goes to the park with Johnny to cool down. But after the killing of Bob, Johnny says “‘We gotta get outa here. Get somewhere. Run away. The Police ‘ll be here soon.’ I was trembling. and it wasn’t from the cold”(50). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero can no longer stay is his/her comfort zone because of something or someone, forcing this person to go on a Hero’s Journey. In The Outsiders, Johnny kills bob to save Ponyboy from being drowned, making Ponyboy a part of the killing. This is the event that forces Ponyboy and Johnny to go on a Hero’s Journey.

Ponyboy meets Dally to get things to survive. Ponyboy knows that he cannot survive without anything. So he goes to find Dally, Ponyboy narrates, “Dally appeared after a minute. He carefully shut the door. “Here” - he handed us a gun and a roll of bills”(60). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero begins to go through trials, challenges and temptations. The Threshold of adventure is where the challenges take place. In The Outsiders, Once Ponyboy goes to see Dally for help. Dally is the Threshold guardian to Johnny and Ponyboy. The Threshold guardian is someone who is the helper or mentor to the hero. Dally tells them to go and hide in an abandoned church. This is one of the many thresholds of adventure that happen inside this book.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when Ponyboy and Johnny want to go back home to atone for their crime. Johnny and Ponyboy are sent to the hospital after finding the church, with all their possessions inside, burning with kids trapped inside. Johnny and Ponyboy try to save them but Johnny and Ponyboy are inflicted with wounds. Ponyboy is lucky, but Johnny is injured really badly. “The nurses wouldn’t let us see Johnny. He was in critical condition. No visitors”(119). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero go through the Abyss, Revelation, Transformation and the Atonement. The abyss is the lowest point the hero goes through. The revelation is a new perspective that the hero gets. While the Transformation is when the hero actually starts to live with the new perspective. In the Outsiders, Ponyboy goes through the Abyss when he is waiting for Johnny’s condition. Johnny is maimed badly when he tries to save the kids inside the abandoned church and when a piece of flaming wood lands on back. This is the Abyss for Ponyboy because he is afraid of losing Johnny or part of his Greaser family. But not only is Ponyboy afraid of losing Johnny as part of his Greaser family, Ponyboy is also afraid of losing Johnny as an individual who experience pain with him.

Ponyboy experience The Return to Everyday Life when he decides to atone for his crime. When Dally tries to persuade them against going home to turn themselves in, Ponyboy and Johnny ignore Dally’s request, and go back to the abandoned church to get their stuff. “‘we’re goin’ back and turn ourselves in”(87). In the Hero’s Journey, The return to his everyday life is when the hero returns with a gift or a change. As the Return to Everyday Life happens slightly after the Abyss, the Hero’s journey parts do not necessarily happen in order. In the Outsiders, Johnny and Ponyboy decide to return because they do not want to live continue in hiding, and also because they do not think it is right to live with crimes. Because Ponyboy’s family really care about him, the gift is when Ponyboy returns home, and relieves his family of stress.

As long as you go through the Hero’s Journey, you are a hero. Ponyboy, who went through the Hero’s Journey was hit with hardship, but also rewarded with many different changes mentally and physically. The world is full of heroes, but these people are not very significant because they were never shown on the news. But these heroes are definitely heroes because they went through the Hero’s Journey

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