Noah Baum

The Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

My writing in the beginning of the year was very static and did not flow and now I believe my writing has improved so it flows better.

I consider my writing strengths as my vocabulary.

I want to develop the ability to change my perspective to write to a prompt.

My favorite part of this assignment was watching the movie because I got to see the characters portrays in real life.

ThE HERO'S jOURNEY Essay

When someone thinks of a hero, they make think of ancient mythology, where heroes like Theseus slays a monster like the Minotaur. These heroes have shaped desired qualities today. These stories are based on mostly legends, but there is a type of hero that doesn’t fight with swords and spears, but with broken bottles and switchblades. Ponyboy Curtis is one of these heroes and walks the same Hero’s Journey as any legend in history has. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton the protagonist, Ponyboy Curtis, goes on a Hero’s Journey because he goes through the three required phases of a monomyth.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when Johnny stabs and kills a Soc. After a fight with some Socs in a park, Ponyboy comes back from being unconscious from being drowned to find Johnny staring into distance, when Johnny says, “‘I killed him… I killed that boy’” (56). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero leaves his feels discontent and in need of honor and justice. The hero experiences a sudden traumatic event that launches them into the unknown. In The Outsiders, The Separation from the Known occurs when Johnny stabs a Soc. This is a sudden traumatic event because the both of them know they will get the electric chair for killing someone. Because of this, they both know they need to get out of town. They know they must consult Dally, someone very experienced in the world of crime. Dally provides them with the perfect threshold: money, a gun, and a train out of Tulsa.

Johnny and Ponyboy are now leaving their comfort zone for Windrixville, where they will be separated from their known world.

Ponyboy experiences the Initiation when he becomes a criminal and is away from his home. In Windrixville, Pony is on the floor in an abandoned church, he tries to imagine nothing has changed since Johnny killed Bob, Pony explains, “It’ll go like the usual weekend morning. I tried telling myself that while I lay on the cold rock floor, wrapped in Dally’s jacket and listening to the wind rushing through the trees’ dry leaves outside” (68-69). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the Initiation is when the hero goes through physical or mental challenges. The hero is tested with these ordeals to see how much he wants to change the present situation. In The Outsiders, the first part of the Initiation occurs when he has to go on a train to Windrixville, an unknown place. He experiences a challenge being away from everyone in Tulsa, especially his family. He goes through the ordeal of sleeping in an abandoned church and dying his hair blond to keep his image unidentifiable.

Pony continues to experience the Initiation when he has to face his greatest fear: losing his family. Pony has already lost his parents, and he would hate to see any of his “family” die as well. After a rumble with the Socs, a concussed Pony and a bruised Dally return to the hospital to visit Johnny, “We both went into Johnny’s room, standing there for a second, getting our breath back in heavy gulps. It was awful quiet. It was scary quiet. I looked at Johnny. He was very still, and for a moment I thought in agony: He’s dead already” (148). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of the Initiation is when the hero experiences a low point of being daunted by his greatest fear. In The Outsiders, the Initiation continues when when Pony is faced with the idea of Johnny dying. This is his worst fear and this causes him to experience the Abyss, or the low point of his journey. This shows that Pony is traveling on a Hero’s Journey.

Ponyboy experiences the Return to Everyday Life when Johnny and Dally are dead and Pony starts to fall back into his routine, except with a gift. Pony returns from his journey with the gift of wisdom, Pony explains, “Someone should tell their side of the story” (179). In the Hero’s Journey, the Return to Everyday life is when the hero returns from journet and settles down, usually with a gift. In The Outsiders, the Return to Everyday Life occurs when Pony is done with his journey and has a gift of knowing that Greasers and Socs are stereotyped and it is rough all around.

In conclusion, Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey because he goes through the steps and phases necessary for a monomyth. Ponyboy experiences the Separation from the Known when Johnny stabs and kills a Soc. Ponyboy experiences the Initiation when he becomes a criminal and is away from his home. Ponyboy continues to experience the Initiation when he has to face his biggest fear: losing his family. Ponyboy experiences the Return to Everyday Life when Johnny and Dally are dead and Pony starts to fall back into his routine, except with a gift. Though probably no Minotaur ever walked on this planet, there have been many Ponyboys. Of course, there is only one true Ponyboy Curtis, but there are others who have traveled along the same Hero’s Journey, and their journeys have enlightened this world with their gift.

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