Will Statler

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

At the beginning of the I would say my writing skills were not good I had terrible CUPS and hand writing. While I can certainly say that my hand writing has improved it could still be much better, and my punctuation which was my biggest weakness at the beginning of the year has also improved though still not perfect. My writing strengths are probably my spelling and my ability to really get in the zone once I start writing. Like I said before my punctuation and hand writing still have much room for improvement  this is what I want to work on developing next year. The Outsiders is a great book it presents everything in the book with great realism and emotion, it feels like you're really there.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey Will Statler

5/5/14 Period 1


When most people think of a hero they think of superheroes they think of people who can move faster than a speeding bullet, are able to punch a falling meteor back into space, or have saved the world more than once. This is probably because of how often we see them, as in every summer we see them fighting a new menace in an adventure filled with fighting, lasers, and explosions. However, this is not the only kind of hero. There is another kind and they are neither common nor do they have superpowers, but they are very real. A great example of this kind of hero is Ponyboy Curtis. 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 Johnny stabs and kills a soc when they get jumped. This happens when Johnny and Pony are running away in the middle of the night after Darry hit Pony, When they get jumped by some socs and Johnny stabs one named Bob, Cherry’s boyfriend and Johnny says, “I killed him…I killed that boy”(56). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the known is when the hero experiences a sudden traumatic event that thrusts them into the unknown and on their adventure. In The Outsiders, Johnny stabs and kills a soc, immediately making them criminals and throwing them into the unknown of being on the run. As they enter the unknown, Dally serves as a guardian by giving them new clothes, advice, a place to hide out, and a gun to protect themselves. This helps them navigate through the unknown unharmed.

Ponyboy experiences the initiation when he has to become comfortable with living in the hideout. It is the late afternoon and ponyboy is just waking up. “I woke up in the late afternoon. For a second I didn’t know where I was. You know how it is when you wake up in a strange place and wonder where in the world you are until memory comes rushing over you like a wave”(68). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences challenges as they navigate through the unknown. In The Outsiders, when pony wakes up at the hideout not knowing where he is, it shows how pony is having trouble adjusting to life in the unknown and how challenging it is being a criminal on the run also he has to get used to concealing his identity even if it mean losing his hair which is the only thing he has to be proud of.

Ponyboy continues to experience the initiation when he learns that Johnny is dying. Ponyboy and the gang have just learned that Johnny is dying after he broke his legs when he fell in a burning building. “I’m sorry boys but he’s dying”(47). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through the Abyss, Transformation, Revelation and Atonement. In The Outsiders the abyss is when pony just learns that johnny is dead. He goes home in a haze as Dally is running around in an uncontrollable rage. After Pony tells the rest of the gang they try to run after and save Dally. They are too late as soon as they find dally he is already being shot by the police. This is especially an abyss for Pony because his worst fear is losing more family.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he wakes up in his bed the day after Johnny and Dally died. Pony is back in his house asleep on his couch and remembers that to get a passing grade he has to write an essay for extra credit. “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I only had two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home”(180). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero the returns with a gift. sometimes it’s emotional but other times and in Ponyboy’s case it’s physical. In The Outsiders, The gift pony returns with is the book The Outsiders containing his perspective on life, the battle between Greasers and Socs and what it is like to lose family.

In conclusion, Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey because he experiences the Separation from the Known, Initiation, and Return to Everyday Life. Pony experiences the separation when Johnny stabs a Soc. The first part of the Initiation is when he has to become comfortable with concealing his identity. In the second part of the initiation Pony experiences the Abyss when Johnny and Dally die. The Return to Everyday Life happens when Pony wakes up in his bed the day after Johnny and Dally died then he remembers he has to write an essay to get a passing grade. It is possible that someone could have claws that cut through steel or that someone could invent a robotic suit. But even if that happens it doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can be a hero.

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