Jacob Cherynak

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

The Outsiders/ Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders/Hero’s Journey Jacob Chernyak

5-9-14 Period 1

In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the known is when the hero leaves his comfortable and ventures into the darkness of the unknown. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the known when he fights with his brother Darry (who then hits him), and gets involved in a killing: “Suddenly it was deathly quiet. We had all frozen. Nobody in my family had ever hit me. Nobody.” (44) “A panic was rising in me as I listened to Johnny's quiet voice go on and on. ‘Johnny!’ I nearly screamed. ‘What are we gonna do? They put you in the electric chair for, killing people!’ I was shaking. I want a cigarette. I want a cigarette. I want a cigarette. We had smoked our last pack. ‘I'm scared, Johnny. What are we gonna do?’” (50). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero journeys into a physical and/or psychological unknown. In The Outsiders, Pony experienced the first part of The Initiation when he ran away from the city to the country to avoid trouble. “We climbed in a back window. It was a small church, real old and spooky and spiderwebby. It gave me the creeps.” (57). In the Hero’s Journey, The second part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences a low point where he must battle with his greatest internal or external fear. Finally, the hero experiences a dramatic change in the way he views life and learns to be become “one” with his new self. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences the second part of The Initiation when he and the rest of the greasers go to the big rumble. Ponyboy realizes that fighting is useless and it is much better if they all would just be friends. “The silence grew heavier, and I could hear the harsh heavy breathing of the boys around me. Still Darry and the Soc walked slowly in a circle. Even I could feel their hatred. They used to be buddies, I thought, they used to be friends, and now they hate each other because one has to work for a living and the other comes from the West Side. They shouldn't hate each other... I don't hate the Socs any more... they shouldn't hate…” (122). In the Hero’s Journey, the hero must return to his everyday life. However the hero typically returns with a “gift”- leadership, enlightenment acceptance, etc. With his struggle over, the hero can focus on “giving back” to the world. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy decides to write his theme about his side of the story (The Outsiders), to show everybody what was happening all this time: “I wondered for a long time how to start that theme, how to start writing about something that was important to me. And I finally began like this: When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home…”

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