Sam Cook

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?

I would say my writing has most definitely improved. In the beginning of the year I really had no idea how powerful writing can be and how much of an impact it can have on an individual. Now I do understand that language is really quite powerful.

2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

I do not consider myself as a very great author, but I do think that I can express myself through a fictional form.

3. What writing skills do you want or need for next year?

I think that I must improve my handwriting. I really need to improve my handwriting. I really thought it was going to improve by just writing more. But it seems as if its getting worse. It may be just writing too fast, and must slow down

4. What do you like best about reading this novel?

I really enjoyed this novel mainly because of the characters. They were smart but not too smart and also dumb but not"rock like". I could relate to some of the characters and I could also make real world connections to some of Ponyboy's actions (I'm not saying I did any of his actions).

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

`The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey Sam Cook

5/6/14 Period 7




Not all heroes wear a red cape and can fly. Not all heroes need superhuman powers. Some heroes fall back in the shadows. The Outsiders is a great example of how a hero does not always need the stereotypical necessities that a hero usually acquires. But it shows how someone must go through a journey to become a hero. 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 he gets slapped by Darry. Ponyboy felt that Darry did not want him there so he had to run away. “It was a pain to me that Darry didn’t want me around. And I wouldn’t stay if he did. He wasn’t ever going to hit me again” (59). What separation to the known is really what it sounds like. Separation to the known is the path to the unknown, but before they do they must go through a threshold. This quote is an example of how Ponyboy experiences the separation from the known because he is in discomfort. He is in discomfort because is he now is involved with murder and now venturing into an unknown world. They used to be greasers and kids, but now they can be considered as criminals.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Johnny tells Ponyboy they have to cut their hair in the abandoned church. Both Johnny and Ponyboy know this only the first challenge that they must overcome to go through the entire phase. “Johnny sat down and pulled out his knife. “We’re gonna cut our hair, and you’re gonna bleach yours” (71). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the initiation is when the hero has to bleach his hair. This quotation is an example of the many challenges that these character must overcome. The initiation is when a character or characters must conquer a challenge. Johnny and Ponyboy reach a challenge in the journey when they must change their identity by cutting their hair. They must do this because they can now be considered criminals.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when Ponyboy gets kicked in ribs while he participates in “The Rumble”. The hero experiences a low point where he must battle with his greatest fear. His fear must die down to nothing and overcome his fears. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy goes through a dramatic change. He realizes that the fighting and hate is really quite pointless. He does not see any reason to fight. Ponyboy’s change is in a positive manner and makes him seem a lot more mature than the rest of the characters.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when Ponyboy gets home from when Sodapop ran away and still did not want to do his homework. Ponyboy, Darry and Sodapop start to calm down and life is getting back to normal. Ponyboy still had homework from school but he didn’t want to do it. “I still didn’t want to do my homework that night, though. (177). The return to daily life is when the character finally feels comfortable and comes back to a place that could be considered as a shelter. The character may have gone through a lot but that does not mean the world will change with it. Usually the character will have a different perspective on the world. Ponyboy returns to everyday life when he comes out of his concussion and gets back home. He realizes that all the hate and fighting that has occurred between the Greasers and Socs is really pathetic. He wishes of a world without hate and violence between these two groups. Ponyboy also has a new perspective on life and the world itself, he finds hope in the world. All in all Ponyboy has now returned to everyday life and has a hope for the world.

In conclusion, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton the main character Ponyboy, must go through a journey in wich he has struggles and challenges, to become a hero. But not all heroes are the same so that means not all challenges are going to be the same. Some challenges may not even be noticed. But he is not doing this for attention, Ponyboy has found hope in the world and wants to help it in a positive way. This story is fictional, but that doesn’t mean that there are not heroes in the real world. There are plenty in the real world, but one may not be able to see. That is why we have The Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s journey is an example to society and helps create a guideline or idol that someone could look up to.

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