Who are classical heroes? Who are superheroes? How can I tell them apart? Teaching students this literary device and asking them to think deeply about the hero's attributes, and how they affect the work as a whole, will instill a deeper understanding of many literary works.
Certain protagonists are considered to have universal qualities and these qualities are called archetypes. Archetypes have similar characteristics throughout literature and make unpredictable characters easier to understand. One archetype is the hero - defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. However, there is more than one hero archetype.
Types of heroes - Classical Hero - Pony Boy from The Outsiders
BATTLE OF PRIDE
Image Attributions: Movie (https://www.flickr.com/photos/joaolavinha/13976308104/) - João Lavinha - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Ponyboy lost both of his parents at a young age and was raised by his older brother.
Throughout the novel, the reader sees a soft and passive side to Pony. He never actually wants to fight anyone and he continuously tries to smooth over bad situations.
Ponyboy's special quality is his friendship. In every aspect of his life, he thinks of others. When Johnny ran into the church to save the children, Pony was not going to allow Johnny to try and save them alone.
Ponyboy battles himself. He values his education and he knows what to do to be a good person. When others have given up and dropped out, he remains steadfast and works harder.
After Johnny dies, Dally goes crazy and robs a store with an unloaded gun. Ponyboy attempts to prevent the police from shooting Dally, but he is not successful.
Although Pony does not die, he has a willingness to take heed of Johnny's words and make changes in his life. This signifies a change, or the death of the old Pony.