Chasing hope and dreams Essay
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“ We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope”(Martin Luther King Jr). Junior describes how living on the reservation makes Indians lose hope. “The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie follows a native boy named Junior as he chases hope. His family is models of Indians who did not pursue their dreams. Junior decides to transfer to Reardan because he wanted a better education while proving that Indians can be something in the world. He chases hope through the story as he works to follow his dream to have a better life.
Junior had inspiration, encouragement, and support to go to Reardan. He went although he battles with the feeling of betraying his tribe and by attending Reardan.
He is inspired, supported and encouraged by certain people to and dreams. Mr.P told him to go to a place that is filled with hope. “You fought off that brain surgery. You fought off those seizures. You fought off all the drunks and addicts. You kept your hope. And now you have to take your hope and go somewhere where other people have hope”, assures mr.p (Alexie 43). This explains how Mr. P encouraged him, while his sister inspired him to follow his dreams when she ran away and his mother agreeing or supporting him. This also shows how alcohol has ruined the number of lives, saying that the funerals he has attended in his young life were for people who died from alcohol-related causes. After his sister\’s funeral, Junior cries, thinking, “I was crying for my tribe, too.
I was crying because I knew five or ten or fifteen more Spokane’s would die during the next year and that most of them would die because of booze” (216). The fact is that alcoholism is a reason for why junior is leaving the reservation. Junior is trying to follow his dream to get a proper education. He will not continue reading the geometry textbooks that are being used in the reservation school. “So that means my mother was born an Adams and she was still an Adams when she wrote her name in that book. And she was 30 when she gave birth to me. Yep, so that means I was staring at her geometry book that was at least 30 years older than I was”( 31). He wants to read from books with more up to date information. In conclusion throughout this novel, he was trying to find a hope so he could follow his dreams. He wants to be something, not like his parents and fellow Indians who gave up.
Junior’s Battle with his feelings, culture, and racism. Junior knows that if he leaves the rez everyone there will hate him and if he goes to Reardan then he will be bullied. “ You’ll be the first one to ever leave the rez this way, mom said. The Indians around here are going to be angry with you. Shoot, I figure that my fellow tribal members are going to torture me”.(Alexie, 47). This shows that Junior is battling with his feelings to make his decision because he knows that the rez will try to kill him. In the end, he decided to leave the rez and his best friend, Rowdy. Junior is said to have betrayed his tribe because in their eyes he turned his back on them and left their culture, they see him as someone who wants to be white since he left.
So when he left his tribe treats him like a traitor. His main struggle over the advancement of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is between his cultural ties to the rez, his hope to educate himself to get a better lifestyle than the people of his tribe and racism. He is struggling with everything except for his education and getting a girlfriend. Rowdy and many other people on the rez turn their backs on him, while Junior\’s Reardan classmates ignore him or bully him for being different. Junior always experienced racism but that does not mean that he would not feel worthless. At Reardan, he is surrounded by white classmates and has to tolerate racist jokes and names, even from his teachers. Penelope\’s father was also a racist who warns Junior of getting Penelope pregnant and \”making some charcoal babies\” (108). This explains why Indians on the rez drink themselves away. It also explains why he does not feel as though he is wanted anywhere, neither rez or Reardan because both places do not fully accept him. Junior wants to be accepted for who is by people, not bullied. He also wants friends and family.