Dominic Thibault

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

In the beginning of the year i would describe my writing as more confusing than it is now.  I would say that I have learned to develop my thought in a more organized way and have learned how to communicate those ideas.  My writing strengths I would consider is setting a picture in the readers head.  I would like to develop some writing skills next year.  Those skills would be getting even better at developing my thoughts.  I would also like to work on my analyzation skills and being able to "read" a book better.  The best thing about reading this novel was seeing what life was like back in Tulsa, OK and how they went about life.

The Essay

When people think of heroes they think of superheroes. They see Spiderman throwing webs and swinging down downtown New York. Or they see superman flying from building to building saving peoples lives. This is because this is the heroes that Hollywood likes or what makes a good comic. Someone with amazing superhuman qualities of strength and power. Someone that only uses them for good to defeat evil and has nothing wrong in their life and of course could do no wrong. This is only one type of hero. there are many others without the strength or power or abilities. A hero could also be someone like Ponyboy Curtis, who treks along the Hero’s Journey. He does not do this though to find a radioactive spider or receive superstrength. It is to return a normal person with some type of gift. In the realistic fiction novel by, S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders the main character Ponyboy Curtis travels along the Hero’s Journey. He does this by passing the three required phases of a monomyth to become a hero.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when they leave Buck Merril’s house after Dally gives them money, clothes and a gun. Johnny has just killed the Soc Bob in the park during the middle of the night after the Soc’s started to drown Pony. They are seek help from Dally who gives them the supplies Pony thanks Dally. “ ‘Sure, Dally, thanks.’ And we ran into the darkness” (62). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the known is when the hero has a sudden or dramatic change that will force them into action and will encounter a threshold guardian who will provide some sort of wisdom and assistance. The hero then leaves the comfortable and familiar and ventures into the darkness and unknown. In The Outsiders, The Separation From the

Known occurs when Johnny kills Bob with Ponyboy present . This is a sudden and dramatic event because they killed another human being which is illegal. This is very sudden to Pony because it is shocking and never expected that. This makes Johnny and Pony no think straight because they know what the punishment can be and do not want that to happen to them. Thi is what forces Johnny and Pony into action mew that they are fugitives. Poney could turn him and Johnny in and he would not get into trouble because he did not do anything, but being in the gang Pony sticks together with Johnny. The Threshold Guardian that they encounter is Dally. Dally provides them with and assistance by giving them money, clothes, and a gang. Dally provides them with wisdom by telling them where to go and hide. This is what a Threshold Guardian must do, provide the hero with wisdom and assistance, in order to be a Threshold Guardian They then leave Buck Merrils house where Dally was. They walk out the doorway which represents the Threshold to Adventure out into the darkness of the night which represent the unknown.

Ponyboy experience The Initiation when he arrives at the abandoned burning church where Pony and Johnny had been hiding. After eating lunch, Pony and Johnny arrive at the church to gather their things when they realize it is on fire. “ ‘Oh, Glory!’ Dally says, the church was on fire!” (90). Then Pony and johnny realize that they might be be the reason that the fire started and that there are small little children inside. “We pushed open the door to the back room and found four or five little kids, about eight years old or younger huddled in a corner” (92). In The Hero;s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero journeys into some kind of physical or physiological unknown, The hero often feels scared or afraid during the challenge, tut knows that they must triumph it in the end. In The Outsiders, The Initiation occurs when Pony and Johnny

find the burning church and rush in to save the missing kids. This is a physical test because they do not know if they will be able to find the children. They also are not familiar with the burning church which brings along another physical challenge. This church that is burning is also a test psychologically because the do not know what challenges lie ahead. The also do not know how much they must work for get what they want. It is a big psychological challenge because the must put mind over matter and ignore the smoke, heat and pain, to get the job done.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when Ponyboy no longer hates the Socs and does not understand all the fighting. Before the rumble at Ponyboy’s house Pony starts to ask Steve, Soda, Darry and Two-Bit about why they fight because he can not find a good reason to. “Why do I fight? I thought, and couldn't think of and real reason. There isn’t any real good reason for fighting except self defense” (137). In The Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the must face his greatest fear. This fear must die away for courage, enlightenment and independence. The hero then experiences a dramatic change in the way he views life. In The Outsiders, Pony realizes all of the fighting is for no good. This hatred toward the Socs dies away do to a realization that Pony has made about fighting. This will make room for enlightenment and love for all. Pony has realized that all this fighting is for no good reason. At least in his view point. This is a dramatic change because in the beginning of the novel Ponyboy hates the Socs. He want to beat them up. Now Pony does not want to rain terror and violence upon the Socs. One person that helps this is when johnny tells him to stop the fighting because it is all for nothing. Pony looks up to Johnny and has the same realization as him. This is Pony’s Initiation Continued as he dramatically changes his view on life.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when ponyboy writes a book for an English paper. Ponyboy has just read Johnny’s note to Pony before he died. He then gets a realization that he can tie his situation into his school work. “ There should be some help, someone should tell them before it was too late. Someone should tell their side of the story, and maybe people would understand then and would not be so quick to judge a boy by the amount of hair oil he wore. I picked up the phone and called my English teacher ” (179). In the Hero’s Journey,The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns to Everyday life with a gift. The hero’s gift can be leadership enlightenment or acceptance. With the hero’s struggle over they can now focus on “giving back” to the world. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy returns with a gift is the knowledge that will be put into his novel for his English class. Pony realizes that things are rough all over. He realizes that people should not be judged by anything. Whether it is how much hair oil they wear or what they act like or where they live. This quotation show s how Pony has returned with a gift. This gift is the novel, full of his newly acquired knowledge. Ponyboy’s struggle in the Hero’s Journey is now over. He is no longer fighting with Darry and creating violence with the Socs. He now will give back to the world by telling them about his Hero’s Journey.

Where it is possible to be bitten by a radioactive spider or leap across skyscrapers and lift buses off people it is not very likely at all. A hero just has to be someone that travels along the Hero’s Journey. They just must be prepared and ready for the challenges and ordeals that they will encounter. In the end anyone around that person will end up benefiting from this person’s Hero’s Journey after they return with a gift!

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