Halle Gelman

The Outsiders /Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

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

At the beginning of the year my writing was not very good. Especially, my grammar and use of commas. Throughout the year I learned to fix my mistakes, although I still use a lot of commas I have improved my writing skills and grammar.

2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

I believe my writing strengths are my creativity, my use of words and my ability to describe with detail.

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

I want to continue developing my writing by working a little bit slower so I do not rush and have more mistakes and to improve my spelling.

4. What did you like best about reading this novel and/or doing this writing assignment?

I felt like when I was reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton I could make many self connection with the main character and that helped me understand how the narrator was feeling.

The Outsiders /Hero's Journey Essay

When someone says the word hero, the first thing that pops up is a superhero. Such as Superman, Ironman, Captain America and many more. This first thought of a superhero is caused by all the movies, TV shows, books and comics there are. The superhero always has some type of superpower, costume and ability to defeat danger. Although a superhero is the most well-known hero, there is also a less amazing and thrilling hero. A hero like the main character of The Outsiders, Ponyboy Curtis, a greaser in the late 1960’s who goes through a Hero’s Journey. That type of hero returns different than others and also with a gift. 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 and Ponyboy get in a fight with the socs and run away from home. Ponyboy and Johnny go to the fountain and fight with the socs. Johnny ends up killing a Soc named Bob. They both run away together, get help from Dally and run away to Jay Mountain. Dally says, ‘“Git goin’!’ He messed up Johnny’s hair. ‘Take care, kid,’ he said softly. Pony responds, ‘sure, Dally, thanks.’ And we ran into the darkness” (62). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero leaves his regular life, called the Call to Adventure, and experiences a change that puts him into action and later finds a helper that provides help, that is called the Threshold of Adventure. In The Outsiders, the text directly states that the narrator is entering an unknown place by walking into the darkness and leaving his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Also, Dally helps Johnny and Ponyboy by giving them a gun, a jacket and a roll of cash. This evidence shows that Ponyboy is leaving his comfortable and regular life known as the Call to Adventure and that Dally acts as a Threshold Guardian or Helper as proof of this phase.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Ponyboy runs in the church with Johnny and Dally to save children. While driving back from Dairy Queen to go back to living in the church in Jay Mountain. Ponyboy, Johnny and Dally notice that it is burning and hear parents yelling “the children, they’re still in the church!” They all run in. Pony says, ‘“I’ll get them, don’t worry!’ I started at a dead run for the church, and the man caught my arm. ‘I’ll get them. You kids stay out!’ I jerked loose and ran on” (91). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the Initiation is when the hero faces a physical and or psychological challenge. In The Outsiders, when Ponyboy, Johnny and Dally run into the church to save children it becomes a physical challenge because of the injuries it may follow and also a psychological challenge because Ponyboy is surprised and unsure. This is important because Ponyboy goes through a psychical and psychological challenge which is the first part of the Initiation.

Ponyboy continues to experience the Initiation when he finds out that Johnny has died. Due to the roof beam on fire that fell on Johnny’s back, the injuries were too severe and Johnny sadly passes away. Pony narrates, “He kept calling for Dallas and Ponyboy. If he lived… If? Please, no, I thought” (102). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of the Initiation is when the hero has to fight his worst fear which is called the Abyss. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences a low point where he has to face his worst fear, death. After his parents’ death he was always terrified that someone else important to him would die and he would end up alone, then Johnny dies. Johnny truly understood Ponyboy and was different than the other greasers. He was special and did not deserve to die. This part of the novel shows that it is the Abyss because he is fighting with his worst fear.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when Ponyboy shares his wisdom in the novel The Outsiders. When Ponyboy returns to his everyday life in Tulsa, Oklahoma his teacher asks him to write an essay and when Ponyboy does his essay is turned into the novel The Outsiders. Pony explains, “And I decided I could tell people, beginning with my English teacher” (180). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns to his regular life with a gift and can give back. In The Outsiders, when Ponyboy starts his essay that his teacher assigned him he bases his essay on his wisdom, his gift. His wisdom is his knowledge of being in the story of The Outsiders.This demonstrates that the event of coming back to his everyday life with a gift is the last phase of the Hero’s Journey.

In conclusion, Ponyboy, the main character goes through a Hero’s Journey because he passes through all the three phases and eight steps of a mono myth. Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when Johnny and Ponyboy kill a soc and then run away from home. After, Ponyboy goes through the first part of the Initiation when he runs into a burning church. In the second part of the Initiation Ponyboy loses Johnny and lastly, Ponyboy ends his Hero’s Journey with the Return to Everyday Life when he shares his wisdom. Most people are not superheroes, do not have superpowers and do not have costumes and masks. However, people can go on a Hero’s Journey. The only ability a person has to have is to be prepared for the challenges the Hero’s Journey has to offer. At the end of the Hero’s Journey, a person would be different with a gift.

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