Rachel Code

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

1. My writing at the beginning of the year was very general and vague.  Now it is more detailed and specific.

2. Thoughtful and empathetic responses, powerful descriptions and essay organization are my writing strengths.

3. I want to develop faster typing, and be able to stay focused on work longer.  This is what I want to develop for next year.

4. I liked going deeper into the thoughts and backgrounds of the characters in the book.  I also liked how they changed throughout the novel.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey Rachel Code

May 5th 2014 5th

Humans all love their super-heroes! Most people do and a popular super-hero is superman, but its funny not all heroes have to be superhuman. However, the hero in this book is not superhuman or can shoot lasers out of his eyes. His name is Ponyboy Curtis, and he is from the book The Outsiders. 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 mono-myth.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when Johnny kills Bob in the park. It’s late at night and Pony and Johnny are in the park when a group of Socs show up and come to beat them up. First they try to drown Pony and it almost works as a result Johnny flips out his blade and stabs Bob, the leader of the Socs. Johnny says, ‘“I killed him,’ he said slowly. ‘I killed that boy” (56). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero experiences a sudden, traumatic event in someone's life. In The Outsiders Pony experiences a sudden and traumatic event because first of all it’s pretty scary when someone is about to die. But if a friend kills somebody when someones are there and you never ever have done something like that you don’t know what to do. This is how Pony is feeling right. Know he is not violent so this is new to him.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when he has to get his hair cut and bleached. In the abandoned church on Jay’s mountain Johnny has come back from the store, Pony wakes up and realizes… “‘Peroxide? A deck of cards...’ suddenly I realized something. ‘Johnny you ain’t thinking of… ‘Johnny sat down and pulled out his knife. ‘We’re gonna our hair”’ (71). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through a series of challenges and tests in the unknown. Pony’s first part of Initiation is when he is forced to cut his and Johnnys hair to keep their real identities secret. Even though getting a haircut is just a normal part of life when it happens to Pony, Pony feels as though he is losing his identity as a Greaser. Socs might have fancy cars and clothes but Greasers cannot afford that kind of stuff, their pride is in their long, greasy hair. When Pony’s hair is cut off he does not know who he is anymore… A hood? Fugitive?

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he falls into the threat of Johnny's death. Johnny is in critical condition from the bad burns on his back when he and Pony saved the children from the burning house. The Doctor came to Pony and tells him the bad news… “If he lived...If? Please, no I thought. Please not if! The blood was draining from my face and Darry put an arm around my shoulder and squeezed hard…” (102). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through the Abyss when they’re about their lowest point and feeling down and their “greatest fear” is faced. In the book the Outsiders, Pony goes through the Abyss when the Doctor tells Pony, Darry and Soda that Johnny may not survive. This is the Abyss for Pony because when he was little he lost his parents in a car wreck, so he’s already very sensitive about losing people. Plus, Johnny was one of his good buddies, one who understood him, or at least tried to. Losing Johnny would be very hard on Pony.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he realizes life’s not fair to anyone. On their way to the gas station Pony and Two-Bit get pulled over by Randy and his gang of Socs. Randy starts talking to Pony alone and Pony remembers… “I remembered Cherry’s voice: Things are rough all over. I knew then what she meant” (170). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero must return to his everyday, normal life, usually with a gift to give to the world around them. In The Outsiders, Pony returns to everyday life when he takes to Randy (the Soc) and realizes everyone has something rough going on no matter what it is. His gift he brings from his Hero’s Journey is wisdom. This piece of wisdom is from Cherry Valance. In the quotation above she says, “Things are rough all over”. This is when Pony realizes that just because Socs are rich and pampered doesn’t mean that they don’t have problems in their family, friends or school just as much as the Greasers do. Just their situation and context are different. This is meaningful because now Pony finally understands that Socs will be Socs and Greasers will be Greasers but you still have to make the best of your situation and the grass is not always greener on the other side.

In conclusion, The main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey because he travels through the three required phases of a mono-myth. At the beginning Johnny kills a Soc in the park with Pony and they have to run away to an abandoned church. Next part of The Hero’s Journey is when Pony has to get his hair cut and bleached. The third part of the monomyth is when Pony finds the threat of Johnny dieing. The last and final part is when he returns with the gift of wisdom from Cherry. So now people know that not all heroes have to be superhuman.

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