Lauren Zenger

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

In the beginning of the year I did not have a very complex way of writing. My words did not flow together and sentences were very shorts and simple. Now I know how to write very complex sentences that work well with my essays.

My writing strengths are organization, thoughtful detail, and good hooks to catch my readers.

A writing skill that I would like to continue to develop is vocabulary. I think it is important to focus on each word you use and make it the best word possible.

I like this novel because its very different to all of the books I read. Typically they are modern books, but this one is special because it takes place in a time I have not personally gotten to experience.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders Hero’s Journey                                                                                    Lauren Zenger

5-12-14                                                                                                                                          Period 5

When most people think of heroes, they think of superheroes: Hulk, Iron Man, Superman, and Thor. This is because these heroes are more interesting, exciting, and thrilling. People are drawn to these heroes. They want to hear their stories and challenges. However, these heroes are not the only kind. There is a less electrifying version of them, a kind of hero most people would not even call a hero. A perfect example is Ponyboy Curtis. He is on a Heroes Journey, not to defeat the bad guys, but to give a gift of wisdom to the world. 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 know when he runs to the park with Johnny and Johnny kills Bob, a soc who jumped them. The Socs are attacking Pony and Johnny. When Pony is being drowned he fell unconscious. When he wakes up he looks over and sees Johnny. “He was sitting next to me, one elbow on his knee, staring straight ahead. He was a strange greenish-white, and his eyes were huger than I’d ever seen them. ‘I killed him,’ he said slowly. ‘I killed that boy’” (56). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero leaves his life or town in order to achieve a goal, but also to stay safe. In The Outsiders, Pony is forced to leave his home to make sure he is safe. He is unsure about how everything is gonna work out. Pony wants to clear his name and just go back home.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he runs into a burning church to save all of the people inside. When Ponyboy and Johnny realize the church is on fire they do not know what to do. They thought it was their fault. They would not be able to live with themselves if those kids died. “‘I’ll get them, don’t worry!’ I started a dead run for the church and the man caught my arm. ‘Ill get them. You kids stay out!’ I jerked loose and ran on” (9). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero faces challenges. He pushes past the fear and overcomes obstacles. In The Outsiders, Pony has the choice to save the children and put his life at risk, or he can just let them die. Pony chooses to save the kids, which is very brave of him. This tested pony to see what he can do. In the end pony really came through for the kids.

Pony continues to experience The Initiation when he realized that his family loves him. Pony had just woken up in the hospital from when he saved the kids in the church. He sees soda and Darry. Darry goes to get soup for him and he starts talking to soda. “‘ You look beat,’ I said frantically. ‘I bet you ain’t had three hours sleep since saturday night.’ He grinned but didn’t deny it. ‘Scoot over.’ He crawled over me and flopped down and before Darry came back in with the soup we were both asleep” (160). In the Hero’s Journey, The second part of The Initiation is when he hero is okay with life and has an understanding of what has happened to him. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy realized that his family loves him and is there for him. He knows that he is not alone. By the end of the hero’s Journey, Pony has come to accept his life and Darry and him aren’t fighting so much anymore.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday life when he returns home with a gift. Pony’s English teacher told him that he needed to wrote a final essay to bring his grade up. He turns out to write something with much more meaning than the average paper. “‘Mr. Syme, this is Ponyboy. That theme - how long can it be?’” (179). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero completes the Hero’s Journey and comes back changed in some sort of way. In The Outsiders, Pony realizes that his teacher has given him the opportunity to write something very special. He has a message to share with the world. He wants boys like him to know that the world is not such a bad place. There will always be something good to come. The paper is his way of telling his story. He knows that this can change, for the better, many peoples lives. Pony is changed because he has a new perspective on the world. He used to be a boy not knowing much about life, but now he has wisdom to share.

In conclusion, Ponyboy Curtis has successfully completed all three phases of the Hero’s Journey. Pony is called to adventure when he runs away with Johnny, he faces challenges when he runs into a burning church, he goes through the initiation when he realized his family loves him, and he returns to everyday life with his story to tell. Its highly unlikely for someone to turn into an indestructible green monster or be able to fly through the air, but going through the Hero’s Journey can happen to anyone. It is difficult, but the world would be a better place with more Ponyboys in it.

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