KimiAnn Sano

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

How would your describe your writing at the  beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

At the beginning of the year I wasn't the best at  using sensory detail. But as the year went on I not only got better at using sensory detail, but I improved on spelling and grammar which is a key part in writing an essay.

What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

Some of the strengths I think that I have are being able to  add descriptive detail. It is important to have that quality but there is still much more to learn.

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

Next year I would like to strive to be able to write more complex essays and to be able to use more complex and detailed words in my writing. Because in order to catch the readers attention you need to have good word choice.

What did you like about reading thus novel and/or doing this writing assignment?

My favorite part about reading the outsiders was how it is a realistic novel, because it tells you a story but not only are you able to see it in your mind, but it helps you see into the past and how it really would have been.  

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey                                                                                  KimiAnn Sano  5/14/14                                                                                                                                         6 Period

In the fictional series Harry Potter, he has a magical wand to fix all of his problems. Not everyone has a wand to fix all of his or her discontents. So, he or she must venture through the 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 and travels through the three required phases of a monomyth.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he gets beat up by the Socs on his way home from the movies. Ponyboy is greeted by Socs hungry for mischief. One of the Socs states, “‘Need a haircut, Greaser?’ The medium sized blond pulled out a knife out of his back pocket and flipped the blade open” (5). In The Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero has an urge for justice or honor. So, he or she leaves their normal world and goes off to seek honor or justice in an unfamiliar world. Then the hero is forced into a sudden or traumatic event that forces him or her into action. When Ponyboy is on his way home, he gets jumped by the Socs. The first stage of the Hero’s Journey is when the hero is forced into action from a sudden or traumatic event.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he is inside the church on Jay Mountain and Johnny must cut and bleach Ponyboys greased hair. Ponyboy restlessly awaits for his hair to be cut, and narrates, “Johnny flipped out the razer-blade of his switch, took hold of my hair and started sawing”(72). In the Hero’s Journey, The first part of The Initiation is when the hero must go through a physical or psychological unknown. In The Outsiders Ponyboy must cut and bleach his hair to keep his identity from the police. This reinforces The Initiation because Ponyboy must go through a physical unknown; cutting his hair, and psychological unknown, losing his identity as a greaser.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he awakens from his concussion, and says “‘Darry, do you think that they will split us up? Put me in a boys home or something?”’(157). In The Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero is at his or her lowest point in the story. At a young age, Ponyboy lost both of his parents. He is scared that Darry might die and that he would be all alone. This proves this is the second part of The Initiation.

Ponyboy experiences The Return To Everyday Life when Ponyboy and Two-Bit face the Socs in the parking lot. Ponyboy states, “‘I busted the end of my bottle and held on to the end of the neck...They got into the car and drove off...What in the world are you doing? Picking up glass...I didn't want anyone to get a flat tire”’(171-172). In The Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns to their world with a “gift”. Ponyboy realizes that being caring is more important than being a hero. This reinforces The Return To Everyday Life because the hero returns home with a “gift”. Ponyboy returns with the gift of being caring. He shows this by being more caring to the Socs, his brothers, and to the world. His “gift” to the world is his book because it is teaching the audience that even if the world is forcing you to be tough you have to remain true to yourself.

In conclusion,  in the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Ponyboy Curtis goes through all the required phases and steps of a Hero’s Journey. Ponyboy experiences much trauma in just a short time. He goes from being a greaser to becoming known as a hero. Just like Harry Potter he was afraid that people might judge him for his actions. Ponyboy was afraid that the other greasers would judge him as weak and not tough. In the end they both faced their fear and were recognized as heroes.  

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