Hannah Feldmeier

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

My Essay Reflection

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 I think I used the same word a lot in my writing. I would say "she" over and over instead of using a name sometimes. At the beginning of the year I repeated the same ideas in my writing. Now I think I use more ideas and do not repeat myself as much. Also, I think my editing has improved from the beginning of the year. When I reread my writing at the beginning of the year I missed a lot of grammer errors, but now I think I can catch my mistakes more.

What do you consider your writing strengths?

I think one of my writing strengths is writing strong topic sentences. It is important to have a good topic sentence to support you paragraph, and when I really think about what to write I can think of a great topic sentence.

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

This year I learned a lot about how to correctly copy a quote into a writing assignment. However there are many different things to do depending on what the quote is. If you are just using part of a quote, if someone is talking, or if you are changing part of it. Next year I want to continue to learn how to add quotes to my writing.

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

I enjoyed reading this novel and doing the writing assignment because it really helped me understand the the Hero's Journey. When we read short poems or wrote comics in class it helped, but reading and doing the writing assignments on the book made it really easy to understand.

The Outsiders/Hero's Journey Essay

The Outsiders-Hero’s Journey                                                            Hannah Feldmeier

May 5, 2014                                                                                                      Period 1

          Most of the time when someone talks about a hero, people think of a superhero. Someone with superpowers. When a movie or book is written about a hero, they are described as someone with super powers, Superman and Spiderman are two of the most common superheros people think of, and like most hero’s, they are in disguise. Although most people may think of a hero as just a superhero, that is not the only type. Another type of hero is one that goes on a Hero’s Journey. Ponyboy is an example of that type. In the realistic fiction novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Ponyboy goes on a Hero’s Journey because he clearly goes through the three stages of a monomyth.

          Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when he and Johnny get into a fight with the Socs, and have to run away. Ponyboy gets home late which makes Darry extremely angry. He yells at Ponyboy and is so mad he hits Ponyboy. Ponyboy runs away to Johnny and the two of them run to the park to cool off. There they are greeted by a group of Socs. The Socs try to beat them up, shoving Ponyboy’s head in a fountain. Johnny, who was almost killed last time he was jumped by a group of Socs, now always carried a switchblade with him. In an effort to scare them away, Johnny killed one of the Socs. When Ponyboy wakes up, Johnny says in a scared, quiet voice, “I killed him...I killed that boy,”(56). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero is taken from his everyday life and embarks on a journey that will change him or her physically, emotionally, or both. A hero begins his or her journey because the hero feels like he or she is missing something in life. The journey takes the hero on an adventure into the unknown and uncomfortable where the hero has to learn or change to survive. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy feels like he is missing something. His parents died, so he lives with just his two brothers. He hates how the Socs treat the Greasers and he wants them to just get along. Ponyboy is taken from the known when he and Johnny get jumped by the Socs in the park, and are forced to run away. They have never lived anywhere but their homes with the gang, and after the fight they have to run away. The Socs try to kill Ponyboy and as a result of trying to save him, Johnny kills a Soc. Now, they are not just going to live is a whole new world, but they are also criminals. Everyone in the gang gets into fights and beats people up, but Johnny and Ponyboy killed a boy. They are separated from the normal and taken into a world of the unknown.

          Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when Johnny informs him that he will have to cut and bleach his hair. When Ponyboy wakes up in the abandoned church in the country that Dally told them to hid out in, he finds a note from Johnny saying he is out getting groceries. When Johnny gets back, he tells Ponyboy he has to cut and bleach his hair so people will not recognize them. The police are looking for them and if they look the same people will turn them in. Johnny explains this to Ponyboy, "We're gonna cut our hair, and you're gonna bleach yours,"(61). In The Hero’s Journey, the first part of The Initiation is when the hero faces challenges. The challenges can be hard for the hero physically, emotionally, or both. It is venturing farther into the unknown. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy faces many challenges. When Johnny tells Ponyboy he has to cut his hair, it hurts Ponyboy emotionally. His hair is a big part of his identity. For Greasers, their hair is very important. Cutting his hair is a challenge and makes Ponyboy wonder if it is really worth it. He agrees to cut his hair when Johnny tells if they go to jail they will get their hair cut anyway.

          Ponyboy continues to experience The Initiation when the doctor tells him Johnny’s condition. Ponyboy comes to the hospital and begs the doctor to tell him how Johnny is. When the doctor tells him, Ponyboy realizes this is his worst fear, losing his family. “ If he lived...if? Please, no, please not if,”(102). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences The Abyss, The Transformation, The Revelation and The Atonement. This stage of The Hero’s Journey is when the Hero goes from the low point to being at peace or getting use to his or her new life. Specifically, The Abyss is the low point. It is the hardest or worst part of the journey. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy experiences The Abyss when he hears that Johnny might not live. Ponyboy has already lost his parents, his worst fear is losing the rest of his family. When the doctor tells him that Johnny might not live, Ponyboy cannot imagine losing another member of his family. His worst fear is coming true.

          Ponyboy experiences The Return to Everyday Life with his gift when he writes his theme. Johnny had recently died, and right after he lost Johnny, Dally got killed too. Before Johnny died, he left Ponyboy a note telling him to explain to Dally that there is still good in the world. Ponyboy cannot stop thinking about them while he is trying to decide what to write his school essay about. While he thinking about it, he realizes how great of a friend Johnny was. He figures even if it is too late to tell Dally there is still lots of good in the world, it is not too late to tell all the other Dally’s. He decides to write his essay about Johnny. “Remembering a handsome dark boy with a reckless grin and a hot temper…”(180). In The Hero’s Journey, The Return to Everyday Life is when the hero returns from his or her journey. The hero usually returns with some sort of gift, leadership, enlightenment, acceptance or a physical gift. The hero had a new view of the world and he or she can share that with other people. In The Outsider, Ponyboy returns to everyday life when he comes out of his concussion. He does not have his physical gift yet, however he returns with wisdom and a new view of the world. Ponyboy realizes that the Socs and the Greasers are all just guys, and he wants them to act like that. He later receives his physical gift, the book. The book is Ponyboy’s way of sharing everything he learned with people. He understands the perspective of both Greasers and Socs, Socs being the “insiders” and Greasers the “outsiders”.

          In the realistic fiction novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, one of the characters, Ponyboy, goes through the Hero’s Journey because he travels through every stage of the Hero’s Journey. Ponyboy is taken away when he is forced to leave the known after Johnny kills a Soc. He then faces a series of challenges, including cutting his hair. Ponyboy’s abyss occurs when the doctor informs him that Johnny might not survive. In the end Ponyboy returns home with his gift, the novel The Outsiders. In the real world, people do not really have super powers. Heros cannot actually fly or become invisible. Even though people cannot be superheros, anyone can go on a Hero’s Journey. When someone embarks on his or her Hero’s Journey, they may not be a hero, but the journey turns them into one. By going through the Hero’s Journey, the hero helps everyone.

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