the OUTSIDERS/HERO Journey
the outsiders/hero journey kai hodge
may 14 2014 ce 7
WANTED HEROS. You probably thought of having strings shoot out of your eyes like Spiderman or holding your breath like Megalung or Mady or some other cool powers like a Ninja. However, it really only takes a few simple things to cause any ordinary person to go on a heros journey. Pony Boy was just a ordinary person who went on a hero journey without the assist of any special powers.
In the hero's journey the separation from the known is when the hero leaves the known. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy leaves the known when his friend Johnny kills the socs and they have to go hide in the church. “we climbed up the road to the church.”(67). This is when they arrive at the bottom of the hill leading up to the church. Soon they stow themselves inside as they wait out the days until they are given the green light to leave their hiding spot and go away. This shows that he has left the known because he goes somewhere he has never been before. He does not know what is happening and he fears for himself. Ponyboy tries to get away from running away from many terrible things that are awaiting him. This proves that he has gone through this stage of the hero journey.
The second part of the intuition is when they are actually taken from there identity of a real person and have to deal with it. Ponyboy experiences the initiation when he gets a haircut. He is getting his hair cut after arguing with Johnny “Johnny flipped out his razor-edge of his switch and began sawing on it.”(72). This proves that he has gone through this stage of the heros journey. He is losing his identity as a Greaser by getting his hair cut. It is not only a physical change in his hairstyle but it changes who he is. It also separates him from knowing who he is as a Greaser.
In the next section he gets a letter from Johnny. “Ponyboy, I asked the nurse to give you this book so you could finish it. It was Johnny's handwriting. I went on reading, almost hearing Johnny's quiet voice. The doctor came in a while ago but I knew anyway. I keep getting tirerder and tirerder. Listen, I don't mind dying now. It's worth it. It's worth saving those kids. Their lives are worth more than mine, they have more to live for. Some of their parents came by to thank me and I know it was worth it. Tell Dally it's worth it. I'm just going to miss you guys. I've been thinking about it, and that poem, that guy that wrote it, he meant you're gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid everything's new, dawn. It's just when you get used to everything that it's day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's gold. Keep that way, it's a good way to be. I want you to tell Dally to look at one. He'll probably think you're crazy, but ask for me. I don't think he's ever really seen a sunset. And don't be so bugged over being a greaser. You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want. There's still lots of good in the world. Tell Dally. I don't think he knows. Your buddy, Johnny”(178). In a hero's journey this is were they return with a gift. In The Outsiders, his gift is the letter from Johnny. He tries to remain calm but it is too emotional for him and break his will to stay in good emotional form. Finally, he is able to deal with his emotions and figures out what he must do. The letter caused Pony Boy emotional stress because Dally had recently committed suicide by cop. All of this causes the emotional stress in Pony Boy which basically breaks him however, he is able to overcome this sadness and generalize onto a non personally scale to help the world. He reflects on his own personnel actions and tries to give others this knowledge as Johnny died for it.
Everyone can eventually become a hero if they try, just try and you don't need to be plastic man or the red tomato to complete a heros journey. Ponyboy is a normal person yet he goes on a heros.