Emma Johnson

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?

At the beginning of the year, I felt like my writing was very disorganized and all over the place. Now I feel like it is a lot more organized and is easier to follow.

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

I think my writing strength is mostly being able to come up with good “grabbers” and “hooks”. I also think my writing has pretty good flow and is easy to follow.

3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.

I think I need to continue working on my writing in general next year, but mostly CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, and Spelling). Another thing I need to work on is adding more description and detail to my writing and facts that support it.

4. What did you like best about reading this novel and/or doing this writing assignment?

The thing I liked most was reading the book. I thought that was a really good book and I usually don’t like to read but I enjoyed reading this book.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

When most people think of heroes they think of Superheroes: Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Thor and Captain America. This might be caused by all the hit movies that have come out in recent years about this type of hero. A hero with super human strength and amazing abilities that defeats evil forces of the world. However, this is not the only kind of hero. There is a less spectacular hero. A hero like Ponyboy Curtis who goes on a Hero’s Journey not to get the ability to leap from buildings in a single bound, but to return as a normal person with a gift. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton the main character goes n a Hero’s Journey because he travels through the three required phases of a monomyth.

The first required phase of a monomyth is the Separation from the Known. Ponyboy experiences this phase when his older brother, Darry, slaps him. When Pony comes home at 2 o’clock in the morning, Darry yells at him. Things get really out of hand and Darry slaps Pony across the face. Pony narrates, “I exploded. “You don’t yell at him!” I shouted. Darry wheeled around and slapped me so hard it knocked me against the door”(50). In the Hero’s Journey, the Separation from the Known is when the hero experiences a life-changing event that sends him on an adventure or conquest to accomplish something. The “need” to go on the adventure is called the call to adventure. In the outsiders, the Separation from the Known is when Darry slaps Pony. When Darry slaps Pony it is very sudden. This sends pony into a traumatic state

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Johnny kills Bob. When Johnny and Pony get jumped by the Socs, Johnny ends up killing Bob. Johnny says, “I killed him. I killed that boy.” (56). In the hero’s journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences a challenge and enters the unknown. In the outsiders, Johnny and Pony get jumped by a group of Socs. This then turns into a fight, and as a result, Johnny kills a Soc named bob. This is the start of the first big challenge, or The Initiation. Johnny and Pony are now no longer just ordinary Greasers, they are criminals. Most people consider all Greasers to be criminals but they’re really not. Pony and Johnny have always lived by the rules, and have never gotten into any real trouble with the police. Now they are fugitives of the law, and don’t just appear to be criminals, they actually are.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when his best friend Johnny dies. Johnny and Pony go see Dally, their friend who’s been in trouble with the law before, to get advice on what to do. He tells them about an abandoned church where they can hide out. The three of them are staying there when one day they go out and return to find the church on fire. Children and teachers surrounding the church tell them that there are children trapped in the burning. Pony immediately goes to rescue them, followed by Johnny. Dally tries to stop them but they go anyway. They manage to save the kids but get injured in the process. Pony just had a few mild burns but Johnny gets hit on the back by a burning wooden beam. They are then rushed to the hospital where Johnny later then dies. His last words are, “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…” In the hero’s journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences a low point in his life. The hero then has to battle his greatest fear. In the outsiders a low point for Pony is when his best friend Johnny dies. He is forced into a very sad emotional state in which he has to overcome. Johnny’s death brings back memories from when his parents died. This is very hard for Pony, but he gets over it. This low point in Pony’s life followed by him having to battle some of his greatest fears is the second part of The Initiation

Ponyboy experiences the return to everyday life when he recovers from his concussion and returns to school. When he gets back to school his English teacher is concerned about his grades and asks him to write an essay about his experiences. His English teacher says, “Anything you think is important enough to write about. And isn’t a reference theme; I want your own ideas and own experiences.” (145). In the hero’s journey the return to everyday life is when the hero must return to his everyday life. However, the hero usually returns with a “gift”. Then once his overcomes his struggles he can focus on “giving back” to the world. In the outsiders as soon as pony recovered from his concussion he was back in school. His English grades were really bad so his English teacher says he could bring them up by writing a theme or essay. He wants it to be about his experiences on being a greaser, having your two best friends die at young ages, and being a hero for saving kids out of a burning church. So this book that pony writes is the actual book The Outsiders and it is the “gift” that he brings back with him to give to the world.

In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton the main character goes n a Hero’s Journey because he travels through the three required phases of a monomyth. Darry slaps pony, which is the beginning of the separation from the known, followed by Johnny killing bob which is the first part of the initiation, next when Johnny dies it is the second part of the initiation, then when pony writes the theme/essay it concludes the steps of the monomyth with the last step, the return to everyday life where pony comes back with a gift. It is possible someone could be bitten by a radioactive spider, create an iron suit or have an invincible shield, but its not likely. However, a hero’s journey can be taken by anyone. He or she just needs to be prepared for the challenge. It will benefit everyone when he or she returns with a gift.

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