Angela Cummings

The outsiders/ Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

1: My writing has improved since the beginning of the year because now I write with not too much detail in everything but still not too broad.

2: My writing strengths are that I work hard to follow all the directions and i am insightful about my ideas. I use the writing process with all my essays.

3: The writing skills that I would need to improve on for next year are

that I need to try to stay more focused and I have to type faster.

4: What I liked best about reading this novel was that afterwards we got to watch the movie so we could compare what we saw in our minds to what we saw on the screen. What I liked about this writing assignment was that we could pick any of the event that we wanted out of the book.

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey Angela Cummings

5/5/14 5th

Most of the heroes that people see or read about have something extra-special about them like they can fly, they have super speed, they are incredibly smart, they have X-ray vision or they are part god. A hero with those kinds of abilities is called a super hero. Those heroes defeat evil and create good in the world. However, in the novel The Outsiders there is no room for any fancy costumes, capes, secret identities or super powers. What most people might not have thought about is that there is another kind of hero a lot like every day people. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Heroes Journey because he travels through the three required phases of a monomyth.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he and Johnny runaway to Windrixville . They hide out in a church on Jay mountain that they had never been to. After Johnny and ponyboy visit with Dally and decide to run away to Windrixville, Ponyboy narrates, “we ran into the darkness”(62). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Know is when the hero leaves his comfortable and familiar world and enters the darkness of the unknown. the hero does not feel at peace at this part of their journey. There is usually a sudden, traumatic event that leads the hero to be separated from the known. In The Outsiders, when Johnny and Ponyboy run into the darkness which is a representation of them leaving the unknown. The sudden event that makes them run away is they are being harassed by Socs and Johnny kills one of them in self defense because they were drowning Pony. This is traumatic for Johnny as well as Ponyboy because they have never been involved with murder or any violence like that. That even caused them to run away to Windrixville, and there they are in the unknown because they are not used to being fugitives from the law and they have never been to the country.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when, he and Johnny are in the old, abandoned church in Windrixville. While Pony is asleep he is dreaming that he was back home with Sodapop and Darry because that is what he knows but when he wakes up he realizes he is still in the unknown, Pony narrates, “Finally I quit pretending and pushed myself up. I was stiff and sore from sleeping on that hard floor” (69). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero is hit with challenges that are mental or physical. This part of the Hero’s Journey is uncomfortable, the hero does not feel at home and is in the unknown. In the novel the outsiders, Ponyboy is challenged when it hits him that he is not at home but in the total unknown. The church is the unknown because the countryside is very different than the city and him and Johnny are all alone in the spooky church. He is not only mentally uncomfortable but he is physically uncomfortable when he wakes up because the ground of the church is very hard and that made him stiff and sore.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he realizes that Johnny is crippled and may die. Johnny is crippled because of a fire that went off at the old church and he was trying to save children but in the process he got severely burnt. When Ponyboy and Darry are in the hospital after Johnny was rushed there because of the fire at the church, it finally dawns of Pony that Johnny will never be the same he narrates, “ Johnny crippled for life? I’m dreaming, I thought in panic, I’m dreaming”(103). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero is at his lowest point he must become courageous and then he must become one with his new self. In the book The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences the abyss when he realizes that Johnny is crippled for life. When the church burns down, Johnny gets severely injured and experiences trauma to his spine and other large injuries. This is Ponyboy’s greatest fear because when he was much younger his parents died in a horrible car crash. Now, he has the fear of losing his family and that includes the rest of the gang. Pony gets it his lowest point when he goes into denial about the fact that Johnny is never going to be like he was before. Another example that Pony is at his lowest point is that he has a concussion and is unable to do the things he loves.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when he recovers from his concussion and lives happily with his family and friends, accepting all the change that happened. After Johnny and Darry have died, Ponyboys English teacher gives him the assignment of writing and essay he decides to write “The Outsiders”. Before he starts writing this is what he thinks, “I wondered for a long time how to start writing about something that was important to me”(180). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns to his or her everyday life with a new view on life and they have a gift to give to the world around them. In the book The Outsiders, Ponyboy returns to his everyday life with the view that, even though he is a greaser he does not have to act like a hood. he has a gift of wisdom which is the essay that he wrote and was turned into a book that he shares with the whole world. Since this phase says that the hero returns with a gift and Ponyboy did, that proves that this is a Hero’s Journey.

In conclusion, throughout the novel The Outsiders, Ponyboy goes through each step of the Hero’s Journey. At the very beginning of the Hero's Journey Ponyboy and Johnny run away to Windrixville because Johnny killed a soc, and they hide away in an abandoned church. At the end of the journey Johnny gets injured and Ponyboy has to accept the fact that Johnny is crippled. And at the very, very end Ponyboy returns with a gif of wisdom in the form of an essay called “The Outsiders”. Not everyone can be a superhero but every single person on earth can be a hero in some kind of way. Not everyone can save the world or even a city from the forces of evil, all there is to do is be prepared for all the challenges that lie ahead. If they pass all the challenges the hero and everyone around them are greatly rewarded.

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