Donald Taggart

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

1. My writing at the beginning of the year had little support and evidence. It now as more of it. My writing was also choppy so it was boring to read so I've been trying to make it smoother.

2. I think that my writing strength would be describing places, people or other things. I'm also pretty decent at my writing ideas.

3. The writing skills that I want to develop next year would be better punctuation and better hooks to get people's attention. Also neater handwriting and faster typing would be good..

4. My favorite part of reading the novel was that the plot and characters were really good. I also like the fact that there was a mix of action and emotional parts to it.

The Outsiders/The Hero's Journey

A hero does not always have to be someone with superpowers, wear a mask, and defeat super villains. Ponyboy is a hero even though he is not one of those descriptions. He is a hero because he goes on a Hero’s Journey. 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 he has to leave the town of Tulsa, Oklahoma to hide in the country. When Johnny kills a Soc in self-defense they must hide from the cops. They leave the town on a train and end up in the country. “This is the country, I thought, half asleep” (63) thought Ponyboy. In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero must go somewhere he or she has never been before. What forces them into action is The Call to Adventure. In The Outsider’s , Ponyboy goes to the country which is new to him because he had been living in the town all his life. The Call to Adventure is when Johnny kills the Soc so they must go into hiding.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he has to cut off his prized hair. Ponyboy and Johnny must cut their hair so they will not match the police descriptions. in the paper. “It was my pride. It was long and silky, just like Soda’s, only a little redder. Our hair was tuff we didn’t have to use much grease on it. Our hair labeled us as greasers, too-it was out trademark. The one thing we were proud of” (71) he thought to himself. In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the The Initiation is when the hero goes through a physical or mental unknown. The hero usually feels uncomfortable in the situation. In The Outsiders, the unknown is when Ponyboy must have his hair cut. His hair is important to him because he was proud of it, it labeled him as a Greaser, and it made him look tuff. He doesn’t want to cut it off for those reasons. However, he agrees to do it because it will help him and Johnny hide from the police. Once the hair is cut off he feels different and calls is lousy.

Ponyboy continues the Initiation when he enters the rumble with the other greasers, the Brumly boys, and Tim Shepard’s outfit. When Ponyboy is with the other gangs he does not feel very good about it. “Were greasers, but not hoods, and we don’t belong with this bunch of future convicts” (141) he thought. In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero is in the abyss. This where the hero fights against their greatest fear. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy enters the abyss when he meets the group of hoods that he will have to fight with against the Socis. This scares him because he does not want to become a criminal and lose his brothers.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when the hearing is over so he can go back to his typical life. However. he still has a bit of trouble fitting back in. He goes back to his normal life in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a few problems. “I wish I could say that everything went back to normal, but it didn’t” (168-169) he thought. In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns to their normal. They usually come with a new gift. Ponyboy returns to everyday life when he is released from the hearing with no charges. When he returns he does not do well because he has a bunch of new problems on his hands. His gift is the knowledge that Greasers and Socis are not that different from each other. They might look different and act different, but they still have similarities. For an example is how Ponyboy and Johnny (Greasers) and Cherry (a Soc) both dig sunsets.

Ponyboy goes a Hero’s Journey because he has passed through the three phases in The Outsiders. He goes through The Separation from the Known, The Initiation, and The second part of The Initiation, and The Return to Everyday Life. Ponyboy might not have superpowers or wear a mask, but he is still a hero. He is a hero because he completed the Hero’s Journey with an important gift.

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