Gil Weissman

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

1.How would describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

In the beginning of the year, I felt a little uncomfortable writing large essays, and I had lots of problems with my CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, and Spelling). As the year progressed, I started to feel much more comfortable writing, and because we had grammar exercises every week, my CUPS has become better as well.

2.What would you consider your writing strengths? Explain

One of my writing strengths is that I have passion in my writing. Whenever I write, I try to have good meaning to writing and make it passionate so that readers will be pulled in to reading what I wrote.

3.What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year?

I have many writing skills that I would like to continue to develop next year in eighth grade. One main aspect I would like to work on is my grammar. This is because when I write, I sometimes make silly mistakes like forget to add commas.

4. What did you like best about reading this novel and/or doing this writing assignment?

There were many things that I liked about reading this novel and doing this assignment, but my favorite part of all was the creativity. For example, everyone has to make this tackk portfolio, but everyone's portfolio will be completely different from anyone else's.

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders Gil Weissman

5/6/14               Period 7

When people think of heroes, they think of people who can jump buildings with one hop, bend metal with their hand, or soar in the sky like a jet. However, these heroes are just movie heroes. Real life heroes do not need to be bitten by a radioactive spider to become heroes. For example, Ponyboy Curtis is a real life hero, even though he can not jump over buildings, but he returns as a normal person with a gift. 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 Dally tells Johnny and pony where to go to hide, what to do and gives money and supplies. After Johnny kills Bob the Soc, he and pony are forced to go into hiding. What better person to ask for help in this situation than Dally Winston, a criminal himself. Pony 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, The separation from the known is when the hero experiences something traumatic, and is forced to leave their comfortable environment. The hero usually runs into a threshold guardian, which helps him start his journey. In The Outsiders, S.E Hinton shows that Pony passes the separation from the known when he and Johnny hop the train with the supplies that Dally gives them. He leaves what he knows; his suburban city, and goes to Jay hill for hiding. He leaves the city life, which he knows well, and goes to the country, which he is not used to. Dally is their threshold guardian because he supplies them with money, a gun, warm clothes, and where to go so that they will be hidden best. He gets them started on their journey. Because of Dally, they know that they will be safe.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Johnny forces Pony to get a haircut and bleach his hair, so that he will not match his picture on the paper. Pony wakes up to a note from Johnny, saying that he went to get supplies. When he comes back, he tells Pony that he has to cut his hair and bleach it. Pony replies, “‘Oh, no!’ My hand flew to my hair. ‘No, Johnny, not my hair!’” (71). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero journeys into a physical and/or psychological unknown. There is a challenge for the hero. In The Outsiders Pony cutting his hair is the first part of the initiation. This is because Pony’s hair is very precious to him. Because he is a Greaser, he does not have have many possessions or much money. His hair is all that he has, and it makes him who he is, it is what represents him. This is why it is a big challenge to cut his hair. It is like taking away the very little that he had.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when the battle between the Socs and the Greasers occurs and pony realizes that he has no reason to fight and that he does not really hate the Socs. Pony and his gang are getting pumped up for the rumble between the Socs and the Greasers. Ponyboy has some self reflection time and thinks to himself: “Why do I fight? I thought, and couldn’t think of any good reason. There isn’t any good reason for fighting except for self defense” (137). In the Hero’s Journey , an important part of the Initiation is the transformation. The transformation is when the hero’s fear must die to make way for courage, enlightenment, and independence. In The Outsiders, the battle between the Socs and the Greasers is the transformation point. One of the reasons is that Pony has time to reflect with himself before the fight . When he does this, he understands that fighting is not the answer. Another reason is that he understands that not all socs are bad. He is enlightened with the fact that he understands that he has no reason to fight. This shows that he transformed to understand that everyone are just people with their own problems.

Ponyboy experiences The return to Everyday life with a gift when he starts to take Sodapop less for granted and starts to become a better brother towards him. After Pony and Darry start to fight at dinner, Soda runs out of the house. Pony and Darry catch up to him and tackle Soda to the floor. Sodapop says, “‘I don’t know. It’s just… I can’t stand to hear yall fight. Sometimes… I just have to get out or… it’s like I’m the middle man, in a tug o’ war and I’m being split in half. You dig?’” (175). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns with a gift. Typically it is leadership, enlightenment, acceptance, etc. With his struggles over, the hero can focus on “giving back” to other people. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy finally realizes that Sodapop, his older brother, has feelings as well. Pony  thought that just because he is as handsome as a movie star, he has no problems in life. Pony had not realized that Sodapop’s girlfriend, that he was going to propose to, had left him and went to Florida, and had not loved him as much as he loved her. In the same week, Pony had run away from home and almost got killed by a gang of Socs. When Darry and Pony had started to fight, Soda just could not take it anymore, and he just broke and ran away. Pony’s gift is that he learns to value his friends and family more, listens to Soda’s problems, and, as a result, even starts to fight less with Darry.

In conclusion, Pony does go through a hero’s journey because he successfully completes the three required phases. The examples of these phases were: In the first phase, Pony experiences separation from the known when he goes to Dally for help. He experiences the initiation when Johnny makes him cut his hair. He experiences a transformation when the rumble occurs. Finally, he returns with a gift when he understands that Soda has problems as well. People can use what Ponyboy learned by understanding that all people are just people with feelings and need to treated fairly, and to never take anything that you have for granted. These are the gifts that Ponyboy Curtis gives to the world.

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