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?
My writing at the beginning of the year was okay and had many spelling, grammar and formatting errors, but now I am getting better and better and my formatting is all fixed.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.
My writing strengths are mainly I might take a while to write but the end result is better then writing it fast.
3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.
I think I need to work on my Capitalization Usage Punctuation Spelling or C.U.P.S. I am marked down some for all of these expensively spelling. Next year I will strive for better spelling and grammar.
4. What did you like best about reading this novel and/or doing this writing assignment?
I really liked the book The Outsiders and I learned a lot from the essay. The Outsiders was good because of how it really seemed as if you were there experiencing what was happening in the book. The essay taught me what the Hero's Journey was and how to properly write a Hero's Journey essay.
The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay
When someone hears the word hero, they might think of Superman, Batman or Spider-man. These are all SUPERheroes with SUPERhuman abilities, but there is more to heroes than costumes and super human abilities. Superheroes are only one type of hero. Anyone can be a hero. Even young boys from the wrong side of Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of these boys is named Ponyboy Curtis. We follow Ponyboy as he goes on his Hero’s Journey not to return with special abilities, but with an even bigger 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 Johnny kills a Soc and he and Ponyboy run away. Johnny and Ponyboy are sitting at the fountain right after Ponyboy almost got drowned and Johnny killed a Soc, Bob. Ponyboy is sitting there still in shock, wondering what he should do. Ponyboy asks, “‘You really killed him [Bob], huh Johnny?’...’We [Johnny and Ponyboy] gotta get outa here. Get somewhere. Runaway…’”(57). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation From the Known is when the hero leaves his comfortable and familiar world, ventures into the darkness of the unknown, due to a sudden or traumatic change that forces the hero into action. Helpers provide assistance and wisdom, along the way. In The Outsiders, everything changes in Ponyboy’s life when Johnny kills Bob and it forces them to runaway. They do not want to get caught by the police and be charged with murder so the only sensible thing they can think of is running away. This is Ponyboy’s call to adventure because a sudden event, the killing, changed his life forever and hold guardian by giving them a gun, money and a location to hide in. Ponyboy and Johnny venture through the threshold into the darkness when they are leaving Tulsa, Oklahoma, their home, and going out into the unknown countryside. Ponyboy’s Hero’s Journey all starts with Johnny killing Bob.
Ponyboy experiences the Initiation when he finds out that he could be separated from his brothers. Ponyboy and Johnny save some children from a burning church, but Ponyboy gets knocked out and Johnny gets badly hurt both are taken to the hospital. When Ponyboy wakes up, after he gets home from the hospital, he asks, “‘ Darry’ I said suddenly ‘did you know about the juvenile court?’ without turning to look at me he said evenly ‘yeah the cops told me last night’ I knew then that he realized we might be separated”(110). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the initiation is when the hero journeys into a physical or psychological unknown. In The Outsiders, the Initiation occurs when Ponyboy realizes he could lose his brothers. When Ponyboy reads the newspaper he sees that it talks about how he and his brothers should stay together. This is the challenge because he has always had his brothers with him and they were there to support him. Also now that he got to understand Darry he might lose him. The thought of losing his brothers is his physical and psychological unknown.
Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he notices that he does not fit in with the greasers. Before the rumble, a planned weaponless fight, greasers against the Socs Ponyboy looks around and sees Tim Shepard and his gang and thinks “He [Tim] was one of those who enjoyed being a hood, the rest of his bunch were the same way… young hoods- who would grow up to be old hoods… that’s why he [Darry] is better off than the rest of us… he’s going somewhere”(138). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of the Initiation is when the hero experiences battle with his greatest fear that must die in order to make way for courage, independence and enlightenment. He or she experiences a huge change of how they see life and accepts his new self. In The Outsiders, there is a rummble about to happen between the greasers and the Socs. It is when the three groups of greasers, Ponyboys, Tim shepherds, and branly buch team up to beat the Socs that Ponyboy realizes his “gang” is not really a gang it’s just a group of friend getting together. Where as the other two gangs are actually gangs because of the harsh rule that is handed out. This is when Ponyboy realizes he does not fit in with the stereotype of greasers, dirty means hoods who will always be hoods. His old view is of him ignoring all the signs just trying to fit into something he is not. Compared to his new view of he does not fit in like he has always wanted and tried to do so badly is the transformation.
Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he becomes tough but sensitive. When Ponyboy and Two-bit are outside waiting for Steve when a Soc car pulls up and they ask if Ponyboy was the one who killed Bob. Instead of cowering back he stood up, broke a bottle and threatened to use it, making the Socs back of. Two-bit then asks, “‘you really would have used that bottle, wouldn’t you?’... ‘I guess so,’ I said… ‘Ponyboy listen, do not get tough. You’re not like the rest of us and do not try to be...’ [Two-bit said]... ‘What in the world are you doing?’[Two-bit asked] … I looked at him.’ Picking up the glass.’ … I didn't want anyone to get a flat tire”(171-172). In the Hero's Journey, the return to everyday life is when the hero returns to his life, typically with a gift, that the hero can give back to the world. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy opens Gone With the Wind that Johnny wanted him to have before he died and finds a note. On this note Johnny says, “You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want. There is still lots of good in the world. Tell Dally. I do not think he knows”(179). After this Ponyboy is determined to let all of the Dally’s of the world know this before its too late. He starts by telling his English teacher in the form of a theme essay which turns out to be the book. Ponyboys gift back to the world is the book The Outsiders.
In conclusion, Ponyboy goes on a Hero’s Journey through the three required phases of a monomyth. In the Separation From the Known Johnny kills Bob forcing Johnny and Ponyboy to runaway. Then in the Initiation, the second phase, Ponyboy realizes that he might lose his brothers and that he does not fit in with the greasers. In the last phase, Return to everyday life, Ponyboy becomes tough but sensitive. There are some people who feel like they do not fit into what is “cool” or that they do not believe that there is any good in the world. Just like S.E. Hinton was trying to do, the all need to hear that they are not alone; that there is good in the world and that should never give up. They might not have superhuman abilities in the end, but when they are though with the Hero’s Journey the will be a better different person and will come back with their own “gift” to the world.