The Outsiders/ Hero's journey

Eva van de burgt

my essay reflection

1. My writing at the begging of the year was very sloppy a unorganized. Now I think it is going way better. There is more structure and it does not take me three hours to write a paragraph.

2.Writing is not something I am particularly good at, but I think I can get fast to the point without using a lot of sentences.

3.I really have to work on my handwriting and spelling next year. I think this because really sometimes I can not read what I tried to write for a first draft.

4.What I really liked about reading the novel the Outsiders is that the whole class was reading it too so we could share what we thought about it. It was also a really interesting book.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

period: 7

When most people think of heros they think of people with special powers like you would see from modern movies. These type of heros that have come to save the whole world with his or her superpowers or gadgets. However, there are also more normal heros, people you see every day like Ponyboy Curtis. This type of heros go out on a hero’s journey without any superpowers and return to everyday life. In the realistic novel The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s journey because he travels through all the three required phases of a monomyth.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the known when he and Johnny are on the run like fugitives. After Johnny, a greaser, kills Bob who threatened to beat them up, they go to Dally who is a friend to ask him for help. Then Ponyboy says.”’Thanks, Dally’ and we ran into the darkness”(62). In the hero’s journey, The Separation from the known is when the hero feels discontent like something is wrong in his life. Also a traumatic event has to occur to push the hero over the edge so he goes on the hero’s Journey. In the Outsiders, Ponyboy goes through these steps. The traumatic event is when Ponyboy wakes up and finds that his best friend killed someone. This event is sudden and traumatic which also pushes them into the unknown. They have to run away from the city. In the quotation it says they run into the darkness which means they are separated from the know.

Ponyboy experiences the Initiation when he saves the children. When Johnny and Ponyboy find out that their hiding place, a church, is on fire and that there are some children locked inside. They decide to go in and try to save them. Ponyboy narrates “‘I should be scared’, I thought” (92). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the Initiation is when the hero has to overcome a challenge psychological or physical. It is also still part of the unknown. In the Outsiders, if Ponyboy goes into the burning church, he has to overcome a challenge. Has to get the children out of there. Also when he steps into the church it is not the same church he has been at the whole time he was hiding in. The church is unknown and dangerous. All of this proves that he has gone through the first step of the Initiation.

Ponyboy continues to experience the Initiation when he goes into a rumble (fight) and realises that he does not hate the SOCS any more. After Johnny and Ponyboy come back from the church, Johnny is burned and needs to go into the hospital Ponyboy goes with his friends to a fight to beat up the SOCS who live in the richer side of town. Just before the fight starts, he looks at his brother and narrates.“They shouldn’t hate each other… I don’t hate the socs anymore”(143). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of the Initiation is when the hero has to go through a low point and has to go through some change which changes his simple view of life into a more complex view. In the Outsiders, Ponyboy realises that he does not hate the socs anymore while in the beginning he hated them. This indicates that he has gone through some type of change. His view by this has also changed. He has more of a understanding for the SOCS.

Ponyboy experiences the Return to Everyday life after Johnny and Dally die. Johnny dies of his burns in the hospital and Dally right after commits suicide by cop. When Ponyboy returns to his house he decides to write a book to try to help people like Dally. Ponyboy narrates “Someone should tell their side of the story and maybe people would understand”(179). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero has to return to normal life and has to come back with a gift. In the Outsiders, Ponyboy after his adventure of being an outlaw he comes back to his everyday life. He goes back to school and lives with his brothers again so just again to say he returns to everyday life. The book he writes is representing a gift to all people. He is trying to share his wisdom with other people.

In conclusion Ponyboy goes through all the phases of the hero’s journey. Ponyboy goes through the separation from the known when he is on the run with his best friend Johnny. He also goes through the Initiation when he saves the children. After that he continues through the second part of the Initiation. At the end he goes through return to everyday life when he writes a book to help others. People might have these great evil arch enemies that want to destroy the world or have these great powers, but it is not very likely to happen. However, anyone can go on a Hero’s Journey. He or she just has to be prepared to take the challenge and to overcome his or her difficulties.

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