Jason Shorin

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

My Essay Reflection

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

1. At the beginning of the year my writing did not have good grammar and it was not as organized as it is now. Today my writing is better, it is still not perfect, but it has improved a lot since earlier in the year. I have learned more grammar, and how to organize my thoughts in a neater when I try to support my thesis from evidence in the text.

What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

2. My strengths in writing is my ability to extract textual evidence from the text and use it to support my thesis. I think that this is one of my strengths because it is easy for me to take evidence from text and insert it into my essay.

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

3. Next year I want to continue to develop my grammar and organization. Even though I feel like I have improved my grammar and organization, I feel like their is still a lot of room for improvement.

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

4. I really enjoyed reading this novel because it has a lot of action and it gives two very important messages. First it tells how important family is and secondly it tells how you should not take anything for granted because it can be taken away extremely fast. I enjoyed this novel because it was action packed and it gives two important messages.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey

When the word hero is said, most people immediately start thinking about superheroes. People think of superheroes like Iron Man, Thor, Batman, The Hulk, or even Captain America, but how many people think about the heroes with no supernatural abilities. This might be caused by all the media surrounding these characters in recent years. There are heroes without superpowers, they are normal people. There is a less amazing hero. A hero similar to Ponyboy Curtis. Ponyboy goes on a Hero’s Journey, not get powers, but to return to everyday life as a normal person with a gift to share with the world. In the realistic fiction novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey, because he goes through the three required parts of Hero’s Journey

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he heads to Jay Mountain with Johnny, after Johnny kills the Soc. Ponyboy starts The separation from the known when Dally gives the boys advice on how to escape the cops. Dally says “‘ Here’- he handed us a gun and a roll of bills- ‘the gun’s loaded. For pete’s sake Johnny don’t point the thing at me. Here’s fifty bucks.’”(60). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the known is when the hero leaves his normal life and enters the unknown with the help of a threshold guardian. Most times the hero is not happy with their current life. The hero must endure a very sudden and traumatic experience in order for them to separate from the known. The hero is unable to do this on their own. This helper is known as the threshold guardian and they give advice to the hero about their coming journey. In The Outsiders, Pony leaves his normal life and enters the unknown because he is unhappy with his current life and being an accomplice to murder forces him into the unknown. Pony truly enters the unknown when he walks through the door at Buck’s house, seeking Dally’s advice. Dally is the threshold guardian because he gives the hero, Pony advice about his journey. Dally warns Pony about how tough his journey will be and what he will need to do in order to survive.

Ponyboy experiences the Initiation when Johnny decides that he does not want to live his life as a criminal. After Dally arrives at Jay Mountain he takes pony and Johnny to Dairy Queen. After a bit of eating Johnny decides that he wants to turn himself in. “ Johnny had been quietly finishing his fifth barbecue sandwich, but he announced: ‘we’re goin’ back and turn ourselves in”’(87). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of the Initiation is when the hero enters a physical or

psychological unknown by leaving their comfortable lives and venturing into an unknown. In The Outsiders, Pony and Johnny kill a Soc in self defense, but in order to evade the police they leave their comfortable lives to the unknown, Pony enters a psychological and physical unknown when he is unsure if he will turn himself into the police. This an unknown because Pony goes from being a Greaser to a criminal and he has never been a criminal before.

Ponyboy continues to experience the Initiation when Pony learns to see the world in a new way. After Pony arrives at the park for the rumble, he looks around at the rest of the Greasers. He then thinks about the difference between Darry and the rest of the Greasers. “I looked at Darry, He wasn’t going to be any hood when he go old. He was going to get somewhere. Living the way we do would only make him more determined to get somewhere. That’s why he’s better than the rest of us”(138). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero must battle his or her greatest fear. After his or her fear is conquered the hero finds courage, independence, and enlightenment. Lastly, the hero experiences an extreme change in the way he or she views the world. In The Outsiders, Pony goes through the second part of the initiation of the hero’s journey. Early in the story, Pony views Darry as hard, tough, and heartless brother. Later on in the book Pony has a dramatic change in view and sees Darry as a extremely determined, hard worker, and better than the rest of his gang because of those traits. Just like the second phase of the hero’s journey Pony goes through a dramatic change and afterwards, Pony sees the world in a new way. After Pony realizes how important family is, his view of Darry changes , which shows his enlightenment.

Pony experiences the Return to Everyday Life when he returns with a gift to give to the world. After all the chaos of killing a Soc, Johnny and Dally dying, and getting extremely sick. Ponyboy returns with his English theme as his gift so he can tell his story and tell the Dally’s of the world that there is good in the world. Pony thinks “ One week had taken all three of them. And I decided I could tell people, beginning with my English teacher”(180). In the Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday life with a “gift” is the final part of the Hero’s Journey and the hero often times tries to give back to the world after his or her struggle. In The Outsiders, Pony returns to everyday life with a “gift”. Pony returns with his story acting as his “gift”. Pony wants to give back to the world by telling his story. He can help others with his story. He tells the Dallys of the world that there is goodness in the world and it is worth living for. Earlier on Pony does not want to share his story, but when he does, he is not just sharing a story, he is sharing his wisdom and knowledge. This is his gift, wisdom and knowledge.

In conclusion, The realistic fiction novel The Outsiders written by S.E. Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Hero’s Journey because he completes all three phases of a monomyth. In the beginning Pony Separates from the Known after he leaves for Jay Mountain to escape the police. Then Pony goes through the first part of the Initiation when he learns the life of a criminal. Pony completes the second part of the Initiation when he starts to look up to Darry and Idolize him. In the end, Pony finishes the final part of the Hero’s Journey when he returns to everyday life with his gift which is his theme. Anyone can go on a Hero’s Journey and come back to share their gift with the world. Everybody is similar no matter race, religion, or social class, people are all equal and we can all give back to the world.

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