Adam Woods

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

1. I have gotten much better with grammar. I used to make mistakes like not adding periods, and not capitalizing letters. I have gotten much better at supporting my claims with evidence, something I was not very good at before this year. Also my overall writing skill has gotten better.

2. I think my main strength in writing is my spelling. I have always been very good at spelling. This helps me write efficiently. I also think I have gotten good at supporting claims this year.

3. I think I need to continue working on my grammar, and I need to get better at not writing run-on sentences. I always write run-on sentences, and that is something that I hope to change by the end of next year.

4. I think my favorite part of this novel was learning about what life was like in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I loved the book, and the writing and essay was not too bad. It helped me improve my writing and analysis skills. My favorite part was reading the book though.

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey                                                                   Adam Woods

5/5/14                                                                                                               Period 6

Superman saves the city again! What an amazing superhero. Superman, Batman, Spider-man, they are all superheroes. However, superheroes are not the only kind of hero. There are normal, non-super heroes. But why are they considered heroes? Maybe because they go on a Hero’s Journey. Hero’s do not have to have superpowers, or save the world, they just have to be up to the challenge of going on a Hero’s Journey. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey because he goes through all the required phases.

Ponyboy experience the separation from the known when his best friend Johnny kills a Soc and he and Ponyboy must run away with help from their friend Dallas. Ponyboy is with Johnny when they are attacked by Socs. Johnny kills a Soc who is dunking Ponyboy in a fountain. Johnny says “I killed him, I killed that boy (56)”. In the Hero’s Journey, The separation from the known is when the hero leaves his comfort and heads out into the world because of discontent where he is, or a sudden and traumatic incident that causes change. In The Outsiders Ponyboy must leave his home with Johnny because Johnny kills a Soc. They must run away to a church in the country where they will be safe. They can lay low for a while and hide from the police. This is the separation from the known because of the sudden and traumatic incident with the Soc. This shows that Ponyboy is going through the Hero’s Journey.

Ponyboy experiences the first part of the initiation when Dally comes to get him and Johnny from the church to go out to eat, but when they get back, the church is on fire. Ponyboy feels it is his fault, and he and Johnny come into the church to try and save kids who are playing inside. When they get out, people treat them like something they have never been, heroes. One of the fathers of a kid is rides with Ponyboy in the ambulance and says “I think you were sent straight from heaven. Or are you just professional heroes or something (95)”. In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the initiation is when the hero has to face a physical or emotional unknown. In The Outsiders, the first part of the initiation occurs when Ponyboy and Johnny rush into the church to save kids. The kids were playing in the church when a fire started, and they could not get out. The people of the town (Windrixville) and the parents of the kids are very grateful. Ponyboy and Johnny are suddenly considered heroes, which they never could have imagined being greasers. Being a hero is an emotional unknown to Ponyboy. When Ponyboy wakes up from his injuries the first thing people tell him is that he is a hero. This represents an emotional unknown for Ponyboy, showing that Ponyboy is going through the Hero’s Journey.

Ponyboy continues to experience the initiation when he is faced with the threat of Johnny dying or being crippled for the rest of his life. Johnny is Ponyboy’s best friend, and Pony can not imagine his life without Johnny. When Johnny and Pony came out of the church a piece of burning timber fell on Johnny’s back. He broke his spinal cord, and he was badly burned. Ponyboy is extremely scared of Johnny dying, as he has already his parents. He narrates “I was trembling, A pain was growing in my throat and I wanted to cry, but greasers don’t cry in front of strangers (102)”. In the Hero’s Journey, The second part of the initiation, the abyss is when the hero reaches a low point and must do battle with his greatest fear. In The Outsiders Ponyboy experiences the abyss when he is faced with the threat of Johnny dying. Ever since Ponyboy’s parents died his worst fear has been losing someone else he loves. The gang is like family to Ponyboy, and he does not want to lose any of them. Johnny is also Ponyboy’s best friend in the gang, and someone he would least want to lose. Ponyboy and Johnny were able to bond and become even better friends when they were on the run from the police. Ponyboy almost starts crying at the thought of Johnny dying, but greasers never cry in public. This shows that greasers may be hard on the outside, but they care about each other. Ponyboy’s worst fear is losing Johnny, and this is a fear he must do battle with.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he writes a theme for his English teacher which is the book The Outsiders. Ponyboy’s gift to the world is his theme, the book, and the wisdom inside it. He wrote the book for his teacher. It is his story, and he gained wisdom. He realizes that he is not a good brother. “Neither of us had realized what it was doing to Soda to hear us fight. I was sick and cold with shame. What he said was the truth. Darry and I did play tug of war with him, with never a thought to how much it was hurting him (149)”. In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns with a gift, now that his struggles are over. In The Outsiders The Return to Everyday Life is when Ponyboy writes the book, with the wisdom he gained along his journey. He has gone through the Hero’s Journey, and now he has a gift to share with the world. His wisdom in the form of a novel, his theme. He shares his wisdom with his teacher and others, a required part of the Hero’s Journey. This shows that Ponyboy goes through the Hero’s Journey.

In conclusion, Ponyboy Curtis, the main character in The Outsiders goes through a Hero’s Journey because he goes through the required phases. Ponyboy goes through the Hero’s Journey when e is forced to run away after Johnny kills a Soc, When he, Dally and Johnny go out to eat and when they come back the church is on fire, and when he is faced with the threat of Johnny dying, and when he writes the novel for his English teacher. There can not really be superheroes in real life, but anyone can be a hero. All that is necessary is to go on a Hero’s Journey. Hero’s Journeys are beneficial to everyone, but especially the hero.

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