Mary Fetter

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now? My expository  writing skills have stayed about consist all through out the year. We didn't do a lot of final draft writing as a class, but I think that I still improved in slightly throughout the year.

2. What do you consider your writing strengths? I consider expository writing my strength because I am good at telling the audience information without putting my opinion into it. I am also good at summarizing because it is easy for me to sort out the important information. It is easier for me because I do not have to put my opinion down, I can just read the text, than re-write it in my own words

3.  What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? I want to improve my fictional writing skills, along with persuasive essay skills. I am not very good at expressing opinions on paper. I want to work on both of these skills next year.

4.What did you like best about reading this novel and/or doing this writing assignment?I liked reading the book a lot.  I also liked making this tackk. It was fun to read the book because it had an interesting plot, and it was well-written. Making this tackk was also fun because it was something different than what we usually do.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

When most people think about a hero, they think about heros from books and movies who save the world with super powers or magic, like Harry Potter who uses his magical powers to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort. But these are not the only types of heros. Anybody can become a hero. Ponyboy Curtis becomes a hero by going on a Hero’s Journey, not to get special powers or save the world, but to come back to everyday life 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 passes through the three required phases of a monomyth.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he arrives home late and Darry hits him. He stays out late with Johnny and does not get home until two in the morning. Darry is angry and slaps him on the face. He runs out of the house and finds Johnny. When they meet, Ponyboy tells Johnny that Darry, “Hit me”(50), and that “we’re running away”(51). In the Hero’s Journey, the Separation from the Known is when the hero experiences a traumatic change that causes him or him to leave on an adventure. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences a traumatic change and this causes him to run away into The Unknown. When Darry hits him, he is traumatized because Darry has never done anything so radical to him before, and this causes him to run away. He meets Johnny and they go to the park to “Cool Off”. There they meet a group of Socs and end up getting into a fight. Johnny accidentally kills one of the Socs, named Bob. This is definitely a sudden and traumatic change because nobody expected that to happen and the death of a person is violent and turns them into criminals. Because of this, they are forced to run away (leave on an adventure), so therefore Ponyboy experiences the first phase of the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he is forced to cut and bleach his hair, which is his pride and joy. When he and Johnny are in hiding, they have to change their appearance to not be recognized by the police. Their hair, “labeled us as Greasers…[and now] it’s gone”(71-72). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through the challenges and into the physical and/or physiological unknown. In The Outsiders, when Ponyboy gets his hair cut off, he experiences a physical and psychological unknown. The physical unknown is the actual hair being cut off and bleached. It makes him look different, so it is therefore a physical unknown. He is also psychologically challenged because according to him, his hair is his pride and joy and the only thing that he could call his own. It labeled him as a Greaser. So having it gone would be challenging. In the past, Ponyboy has only had long hair, so this event is both a physical and psychological unknown, so, for that reason, Ponyboy has gone through the first part of The Initiation.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he realizes that there is no point in fighting anymore. At the rumble, Ponyboy asks his fellow Greasers, “how come you like to fight”(137). He then asks himself the same question but he, “couldn’t think of any real reason. There isn’t any good reason for fighting”(137). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through his or her low point, then his or her fear dies, allowing him or her to transform. This causes him or her to come to a revelation and live in a new way. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy this transformation is when he sort-of “un-becomes” a greaser. He does this by saying that he no longer wants to fight; that he no longer sees a point in fighting. This is something that a greaser would never say. Before this moment, he considered himself a greaser, but after he transforms, he is no longer a full greaser. He is still uncomfortable with his position in society, but he is coming to accept it. His abyss was a fear that people (Greasers and family) would not accept him, but he overcomes this fear and transforms into someone with a more optimistic look on life, someone who does not turn to violence for answers. This is a drastic change, a transformation. Because he experiences this, he has successfully gone through The Initiation.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he come out of his concussion in the new light. When Ponyboy wakes up, “it was daylight”(156), and he has just recovered from his series on injuries. In the Hero’s journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero comes back to everyday life with a gift. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy comes back to everyday life when he literally wakes up and everything seems different. The world is not really changed; he just sees it in a different way. This journey and the traumatic events that accompany it are over. and he is ready to life in a new way, with a positive view on life. Before his journey, he was close minded and did not appreciate the world. Now he starts to appreciate his brothers more, and he learns to see people as people, not as groups or through a stereotype. This is a better view of life because it expands his world and allows him to see the bigger picture. He comes back with this gift of knowledge, and uses it to help the people around him to live better lives.

In conclusion, Ponyboy, the main character from the realistic-fiction novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton goes on a Hero’s Journey because he passes through the three required phases of a monomyth. Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he arrives home late and Darry hits his. He goes through The Initiation when he is forced to cut and bleach his hair. When he goes through the second part of The Initiation, he realizes that there is no point in fighting anymore. When he comes out of his concussion, he literally experiences the final phase, The Return to Everyday Life by returning back to everyday life. Though Ponyboy does not come back with superpowers, he is still able to positively impact the world. Anyone can go on a Hero’s Journey and help the world. He or she must be ready to face the challenges on the journey and then he or she can come back to everyday life with a gift.

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