Iris Hart

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

In the begginig of the year, i didn't know much about literary annualizes, what it was or how to write it. Now i feel more comfortable with writing using this style and i understand what it is. This year i feel i have more writing strengths including attention grabbers and hooks. I never really wrote my essays using this way and since then i think my essays have gotten better. Next year i want to work on CUPS and elaboration. I am not very good at spelling. Next year i want to work harder in that area of writing. I also want to elaborate further into the topics i write about. My favorite part about reading this novel was that we got to see a character go on a heroes journey. Before this book, i never knew what a Hero's Journey was. Now i have a more clear understanding of how Ponyboy traveled through a Hero's Journey.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders Essay Iris Hart

5/5/14 6

Whenever people think of heros, they imagine fictional characters with superhuman features. Superspeed, invisibility, mind control, and super strength, all characteristics of superhuman heroes. However, not all heroes have these special features. Ponyboy Curtis is just as much of a hero as any other you may think of. Ponyboy travels on a Hero’s Journey to prove that no matter what others classify one as, it is still possible to accomplish heroic actions. In the realistic fiction novel, The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, the main character Ponyboy Curtis goes on a Heros Journey because he travels through the three required phases.

Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the known when Johnny and Ponyboy are beaten up by the Socs, and the two run away. After being jumped by the Socs, Johnny and Ponyboy run away. Pony narrates, “‘We gotta get outa here. Get somewhere, runaway. the police will be here soon”’(57). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation From the Known is when the hero has a Call to Adventure and sometimes leaves home or their comfortable surroundings. This stage is very sudden, traumatic, and also causes a lot of action. In The Outsiders, the characters Johnny and Ponyboy find themselves separated from the known when the two are forced to run away. This is because Ponyboy stays out too late and gets in a fight with his older brother, Darry. Then Ponyboy and Johnny run to the park where they are then jumped by the Socs. Johnny kills one of the Socs causing the two to panic. This is extremely traumatic for the boys and they run to Dally for help. This scene is full of action and happens very suddenly. Once they reach Dally, the threshold guardian, he gives them money, a gun, and some clothes. He also guides them to an old church out in the country where they can stay. This is how Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known.

Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Johnny cuts and bleaches Ponyboy's hair. When Ponyboy and Johnny reach their destination, Johnny decides they need to cut their hair and change their identity. Johnny then says, “‘We are going to cut our hair, and bleach yours’”(71). In the Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero is faced with many challenges and traditionally has to change something about themselves, physical or psychological. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences many challenges. One challenge is that Ponyboy faces is cutting his hair. When he does it affects him both physically, as his physical appearance changes, and psychologically, because Greasers are defined by their long hair. Without long hair, Ponyboy feels like there is something missing from his definition because he has lost his identity. Ponyboy doesn’t feel like a true greaser without his long hair. Ponyboy carries on through The Initiation and experience changes that affect him physically and psychologically.

Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when he begins to change inside. Pony asks if he wanted Darry while he was sick. Throughout the time he was sick, Ponyboy wants to know if he had asked for Darry when he was unconscious, not only Sodapop. “Soda, did i ask for Darry while i was sick?”(159). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero goes through a series of events... First the hero experiences a low point, or Abyss. Then they begin The Transformation. Next, the hero has a new idea of a way to view life, The Revelation. Last but not least, the hero experiences The Atonement, or new way to live life. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy changes when he starts to truly care for his brother Darry. In the beginning of the book, Ponyboy doesn’t care too much about anyone but himself, especially Darry. He always thinks that Darry doesn’t care about him so he never did back. After his journey, Ponyboy becomes less selfish and this is when he begins The Atonement. When Ponyboy was unconscious, he asked for Sodapop but Ponyboy wonders if he had asked for Darry. The fact that Ponyboy asks this, shows how he changed his point of view on Darry. Ponyboy starts to truly care about his brother, and he shows this through consideration towards his brother.

Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life when ponyboy becomes tough, but caring. In the book, The Outsiders, Ponyboy goes on The Hero’s Journey and returns with a new view of life. Pony boy shows this when he breaks a bottle to fight the Socs, but then picks up the broken glass. This is when Ponyboy states, “I looked up at him. ‘Picking up the glass’”(172). In The Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero ends the Journey and returns with a new viewpoint of life. The Hero may also bring back a gift. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy returns back to everyday life when he has a new way of seeing the world. In one scene, Ponyboy breaks a bottle when the Socs come so he can use it as a weapon. After the socs leave, Ponyboy picks up the broken glass so that no one gets a flat tire. This shows how Ponyboy is now tough and is willing to fight the Socs, but still cares about others. This shows his new viewpoint on life. Before his journey, Ponyboy wasn’t very tough and wasn’t very caring. At the end of all of this, Ponyboy becomes both.

In conclusion, Ponyboy Curtis travels through The Hero’s Journey when he completes the three stages of the journey. Ponyboy experiences The Separation of the Known when Johnny kills a Soc and Dally guides them away from home. In the beginning of The Initiation, Johnny and Ponyboy experience change in appearance. Ponyboy goes through mental change when he begins to show appreciation towards Darry. During the last few phases of The Hero’s Journey, Ponyboy becomes tough, but caring, something he wasn’t before. Before The Hero’s Journey, Ponyboy didn’t care very much for others. After going on this Journey, Ponyboy achieves many characteristics that make him a better person. One doesn’t have to be a superhero or have super powers to do heroic acts, or be a hero.

Comment Stream