Abby Ramsey

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

  1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now? In the beginning of the year I was a lousy writer. I didn't put as much effort into editing my essays, or even paragraphs. I think my writing was more basic and I never had a good structured essay. Throughout this year i have learned how to properly edit an essay, which obviously helped a lot. I also learned better grammer usage. Lastly, I think I have been more organized with where i put certain points in my essay.
  2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain. I think my strengths are that I follow the directions Mr. Diven gives us, so that we can score well on our essays. I think I do well interms of my essay changing from my rough draft to my final draft.
  3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain. Next year I would like to continue my editing skills. I would also like to become less sloppy when I write my first draft so that my draft is good, but my final copy is amazing.
  4. What did you like best about reading this novel and/or doing this writing assignment? I really enjoyed reading The Outsiders book because my parents had read it before. They said it was a popular book when they were kids. I also liked the book. I found that you always wanted to know what happened next. Lastly, I enjoyed learning about the Hero's Journey and having an example to follow.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay:

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey Abby Ramsey

5/5/14 Period 1

Most people think of people like Superman and Wonderwoman when they hear the word “hero”. There are many versions of these stories about a superhero saving people. They always have a super strength like being able to fly. Although that is the most well known definition of a hero, it is not the only one. There is a type of hero who simply goes on a Hero’s Journey, like Ponyboy Curtis. No, he does not come back with a superpower, but he does come back with a gift. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E Hinton the main character Ponyboy 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 is in a fight with his brother Darry. Ponyboy came home very late and Darry was furious. He got so mad that he slapped him, “Darry wheeled around and slapped me so hard that it knocked me against the door” (50). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero gets a call to adventure. Something causes the hero to feel discontent, and it makes them want to run away from their life. The hero will want revenge and a helper, called the Threshold Guardian, will help them get through the stages. In The Outsiders, Pony does not have a simple life. His parents died when he was young, and he has lived with his two brothers, Soda and Darry. Since everything is so rough it caused him discontent, and that is the call to adventure. Pony automatically ran to the park and found Johnny. They were at the park when a group of Socs come and jump them. They try to drown Pony in the fountain so Johnny pulls out his switchblade, and killed Bob. They go straight to Dallas for help. He gives them a gun, $50, dry clothes for Pony and directions to a small church

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they can hide in. Dallas is their threshold guardian because he is helping Pony get through

the first phase. He is going through a threshold of adventure because he is stepping through the door and being forced to move away from home, and to the country.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he realizes he is a criminal, not just a greaser. After he jumps off the train into the country, he realizes they do not look like farmers- they look like hoods,

“They’ll know we’re hoods the minute they see us, I thought”(64). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences the unknown. Something happens that they have never experienced. It can cause a lot of confusion and often, the hero has no clue what to do. In The Outsiders, Johnny and Pony run away. They go to the country, somewhere that both of them have not been. What does not help is that they do not look like farmers, at all, which could be a problem since they are being chased by the police. Pony is now a hood, not just a Greaser. A hood is someone who is a greaser, but a criminal. Ponyboy and Johnny are hoods because they murdered someone. Murder is when you kill someone on purpose. You could also say it was self defense. Anyways, they killed someone which makes them more than Greasers, which is definitely new to Pony.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when there was a low part of his life, when Johnny dies. Pony is afraid of death. He does not want another loved one to leave his life, sadly that is not the case, “The pillow seemed to sink a little, and Johnny died”(148).

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In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero has a low point in his or her life. Something will happen that the hero greatly fears. In The Outsiders, Pony fears losing more family. He already lost his parents, which was very hard especially since he was young. If anyone else dies, Pony will be lost. This is his low point because loss of family since his parents passed is his greatest fear. He loves Johnny and can not afford to lose another loved one. This is part of his Initiation and he needs to power through, which he does, unlike Dallas.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he literally wakes up from the dark. Ponyboy gets kicked in the head during the rumble, and gets a concussion. He actually wakes up knowing something is different, “Something happened…but I still couldn’t remember it, although I was thinking a lot clearer than I was the last time I’d waked up”(156).

In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero comes back from the Journey. He or she has changed, and brings back a gift. In The Outsiders, Pony wakes up for the second time after being hit. He feels something has changed, because it has. Even though this could be his gift, it is not. He brings back a new view of life. He doesn’t just view life as a Greaser, he sees it in different perspectives. He does not hate the Socs like the rest of the gang, he does not really know how he feels about them. He realizes everything is a little brighter. He also brings another gift back, the book.

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In conclusion, Ponyboy goes through three steps proving he has completed the Hero’s Journey. He gets a call to adventure when he is having troubles with his brother. He realizes he is a hood in the first part of Initiation and has a low point in his life during the second half. Lastly, he comes back from the dark, and brings a gift in the third step. If Superman suddenly appeared in our world, that would be awesome. And I wish that could happen, but it will not. Even though a hero might not come back in form of a super-human, anyone can go through a Hero’s Journey. If they are prepared and get through the challenges, them they will come back and help make our world a better place.  

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