Chris Tillman

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey essay

My Essay Reflection

I would describe my writing at the beginning as slow and not very detailed, but I would describe my writing now as detailed but only fast if I'm using a computer (I'm still really slow at writing normally). At the moment, I have no idea what my writing strengths are. I would like to develop more detailed writing that doesn't take up any extra time writing. I have a tendency to not be that detailed and when I am detailed it usually takes up a lot of time. The best thing about this essay unit was reading the book because I like reading.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

There are many types of heroes. You have Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. All of these characters are heroes, but this is about a different type of hero. a hero that can be seen everyday. One not found in comic book stores. This hero is a person taking the “ Hero’s Journey”. A hero named Ponyboy Curtis who is does not have a superpower, nor is he getting one. He is taking a “Hero’s journey” to bring a gift to the world. In the realistic fiction The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton the main character, Ponyboy Curtis, goes on a Hero’s Journey because he goes through the three phases of a hero’s Journey.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he and Johnny run into the darkness after getting help from Dally. Johnny has just killed Bob and he and Pony run to where Dally is because they need help to get away from the police. When Dally tells them what to do they go through the door, Pony says “‘Sure, Dally, thanks.’ And we ran into the darkness” (62). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero goes through a Threshold of adventure into an unknown place because of a sudden or traumatic change. In The Outsiders, Pony and Johnny go through a door into the unknown darkness outside to escape from the police. The doorway is the “threshold” and the darkness is the “unknown”. They are leaving the known world of the town and they are heading towards the unknown world of the country. This is important because they do not know what they will encounter in the new place. Also, Dally is like a “Threshold Guardian” because he gives them advice and he tells them what to do.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Johnny cuts Pony’s hair and then bleaches it. Johnny and Pony want to hide their identities so they decide to cut their hair. And Pony begs as Johnny starts to cut his hair “‘not too short.’ I begged. ‘ Johnny, please…” (72). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences a physical or psychological unknown, also known as The Challenges. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy and Johnny cut their hair so the police will not recognize them. This is hard for them because their hair is the only pride and they are about to cut it. The idea of cutting their hair was hard because they did not want to lose it and they did not know what their friends would think. Also they did not know what it was like to have a new identity. This is weird for them because they feel like if they have a new identity their friends might think differently of them.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he is in the abyss because he does not want Johnny to die. After Johnny is hit by falling wood in the burning church incident, Johnny ends up in the hospital. The doctors are annoying Pony when they say “if he lived” and Pon thinks “If he lived...If? Please, no, I thought. Please not “if”” (102). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero is at a low point in the story, the abyss. Then the hero goes through a transformation, revelation, and atonement which is when the hero loses their fear, experiences a dramatic change, and becomes one with the hero’s new self. in The Outsiders, Pony is in the hospital and is in fear that Johnny will die soon. This is a low point because since he lost his parents, he doesn’t want to lose anymore friends or family and the gang feels like family to him. This is important because Pony is scared he will lose a Johnny. Johnny is with him at the park and church and they had many other similarities tying them together. If Johnny was to die, Pony would lose a friend and a group member who is close to him. Pony really wants Johnny to live and the doctors kept saying “If he lived” which made him feel bad for not being able to save him.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he wakes from his concussion at home after a week has passed, he has a new view on life and writes a story about it. When Pony needs to write a theme (essay), after Johnny and Dally died and he got a concussion, he does not know what to do. That is when he realizes, “Someone should tell their side of the story…” (179). in the Hero’s Journey, the Return to Everyday Life is when the hero comes back from to the known from the unknown and returns with a gift of some sort, it can be an object, wisdom, ideas, anything. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy wakes from his concussion and starts getting bad grades. however, Pony has a gift of wisdom that people should not fight and everyone has life rough. He makes a book for his semester theme (essay) that tells about his newly acquired knowledge. This theme (essay) turns out to be the book The Outsiders and it tells about what happens to Greasers and his views about the world. He hopes that people will not judge other people too quickly and that that people would have better lives. He is also hoping that people will stop fighting and that they will stop killing and stealing.

In conclusion, the main character of the novel The Outsiders, Ponyboy, goes through the three phases of Hero’s Journey which means he went on a Hero’s Journey. Pony experiences The Separation from the Known when Johnny and him are running into the country. he goes through The Initiation when Johnny cuts and bleaches Pony’s hair and when Johnny is dying. Pony experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he makes a gift for the world. Pony did not have any super powers or any abilities. He was just an ordinary guy. He is just like everyone else. People might be going on one right now. Anyone in the world could be a hero without powers, but with a gift to everyone.

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