Athena DeMarzo

                                  The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

    In the beginning of the year my writing was not very descriptive and did not flow together. Now it has descriptions and good connecters to different paragraphs and sentences.

    My writing strengths are that I get the main idea across. I make everything very clear and easy to understand.

    Next year I want to develop a couple new writing skills. I wants my ideas to be detailed and feel really smooth while you read it.

    I really enjoyed this novel because you really understood about how Ponyboy felt about being misunderstood, how he really wanted a different lifestyle and to be able to talk to Socs. It was also sad and very well written. It was hard to believe it is written by a girl.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey                                                               Athena DeMarzo

5/5/14                                                                                                   Period 5

    Batman, Spiderman, Super Man, and Superwoman are classical heroes. Heroes with superhuman powers that shoot spider webs, stick to walls, fly, and have invisible jets. These are great heroes that fight bad and save people. Even though superheroes are fantastic, there is another kind of hero. One with no special powers that does not jump off buildings. Ponyboy Curtis is a great example of this non-classical hero who goes through the Hero’s Journey and has something to give back when he returns. 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.

    In phase one of the Hero’s Journey Ponyboy is Separated from the Known when he is forced to run away into hiding. Johnny and Ponyboy were taking a walk late at night and a group of Socs approach them. A Soc, Bob, begins drowning Ponyboy. He blacks out from lack of oxygen and when Bob lets go Johnny is lying on the ground. “I killed him,” he said slowly. “I killed that boy” (56). Johnny and Ponyboy go to Dallas Winston for guidance because he could do anything. Dally gives them $50, a gun, a jacket, and a dry shirt for Ponyboy. Dally is there helper in this situation. He then gives them instruction to take a train to Windrixville and stay in an abandoned church because you get put in an electric chair for killing people. Dally acts as their Threshold Guardian and gives them instruction and guidance. After visiting Dally, Johnny and Ponyboy step into the unknown.

    Ponyboy then experiences part one of the initiation when he is forced to cut and bleach  his hair. The police have Johnny and Ponyboy’s descriptions on paper and they can not fit them. Johnny buys bleach and when he tells Ponyboy he says “Oh no!’ My hand flew to my hair. ‘No Johnny, not my hair!” (71). Cutting and bleaching his hair is really hard for Ponyboy because it is his pride. Its long, silky, and very cool. He also does not have to use much grease on it. Its the one thing Greasers are proud of and its their trademark.It is a big challenge for him to lose his identity and his pride. One of the few things he has is his hair and losing it i really hard.

    Ponyboy experiences the initiation part two when he learns that Johnny might not live and if he does he will be crippled. After going into a burning church to save children Ponyboy is fine but Johnny is in critical condition. While visiting Johnny in the hospital the whole gang learns that “Even if he lived he’d be crippled for the rest of his life” (102). He has a broken back, is in severe shock, suffering from third-degree burns, and can not feel anything from below the waist. This is the low point, or the abyss, in Ponyboy’s Hero’s Journey. Johnny is like Ponyboy’s family and he has already lost his parents. Losing Johnny is like losing his parents all over again.

   Ponyboy takes the final step in the Hero’s Journey when he returns to everyday life. He starts going back to school and lives at home. However he is very absent minded and “was lucky if I got home from school with the right notebook and with both shoes on” (169). He also starts running into things and stopped eating because everything tasted like baloney. Ponyboy also returns with a gift. He writes his story as a theme to his English teacher. It is for all the boys who are misunderstood. The boys who live on bad sides of cities but watch sunsets, look at stars, and wish for something better. He made it to boys who kill themselves or become hoods and criminals. It is for the boys who are mean and hate the world. He thinks that someone should tell them there is still good in it. Ponyboy is back in daily life, but his gift will help lots of people just like him.

    In The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Ponyboy Curtis goes from greaser to fugitive to hero and completes all three phases of a monomyth. Ponyboy walks into darkness and leaves the known with Johnny after Johnny kills Bob. He is then forced to cut and bleach his hair for a disguise and learns that Johnny may not live, or he’ll be crippled. He then returns back home and goes to school but he brings a story back with him. At the end of this sad story Ponyboy is a hero. A Hero’s Journey can be taken by anyone. You don’t have to have superpowers or be rich. As long as someone is brave enough to face big challenges they can be a hero.

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