Essays on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian uses characterization to display that when someone tells the truth and shares personal issues with others, they build strong, beneficial relationships.

Poverty Theme in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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When I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, I was very interested in the character Junior because he has been through a lot in his life on the rez. I think me and junior have a little in common because in the book he states, “Poverty = empty refrigerator + empty stomach” (Alexie 8). He is telling us that if you are poor, you can't afford food. I remember when I didn't eat any…...
PovertyThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Identity Theme in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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The novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is about a young boy named Arnold Spirit aka Junior who was raised on a reservation near Spokane, Washington. Junior lives a poor lifestyle and was born with multiple medical problems, making it harder to accept himself since he was always getting bullied by other kids on the reservation. That is until he decides to switch to a high achieving school attended by wealthy white kids, called Reardon. This is…...
BigfootIdentitySherman AlexieSocial InequalityThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Plot Overview
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Have you heard about The Absolutely Ture Diary? If you didn’t The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. The Absolute true diary of a part time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with…...
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Background and Main Characters
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In the 1900's, many Indians were abused. In the novel "The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie explains the difficulties in the narrator, Junior's, life as an indian. His hope is encouraged by Junior's past teacher, Mr. P, telling him to go to Reardan because he will not have the life he wants on the reservation. However, he encounters many difficulties throughout his times, but that does not stop him from going to Reardan, an all…...
CharacterHopeSherman AlexieThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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“I have to prove that I am stronger than everybody else. I have to prove that I will never give up. I will never quit playing hard.” pg (132). Junior is an intelligent Native American teenager that wishes for nothing more than a hopeful future. Though the story is written with a humorous tone the message of the novel is tragic. The tragedy that Alexie through the voice of Arnold presents in his story is that Native American have under…...
Sherman AlexieThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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Junior builds a healthy, valuable relationship with a white girl named Penelope by telling her the truth that he is poor. When he first arrives at Rearden, Junior wants to fit into the white school so he pretends to be rich. Penelope and Junior were mutual friends, but later Junior starts to develop a love interest for Penelope so he “couldn’t lie to her anymore” (127) that he is poor because he wanted to develop a truthful meaningful and deep relationship with her. After the school dance, Junior didn’t have enough money to go to dinner with his friends and feed others. So, he ends up borrowing money from Roger. When everyone was going home from dinner Penelope asks Junior “are you poor?” (127)

Junior’s heartbeat starts to rise, and he starts to sweat as well. Junior was ready to lie to her, but Junior had no courage to lie to her cherubic face. Junior ends up telling the truth that he is poor and he was portraying someone else since the beginning. Junior was astonished by Penelope’s reaction after telling the truth because Penelope “starts crying for him” (129). Junior understands that Penelope was being a great friend because she was cornered about Junior’s life. After that, Penelope and Junior become best friends. They talked and laughed together almost every day. Junior realizes that letting Penelope into his life by telling her the truth strengthens their relationship.

Junior reconstructs a strong relationship with a boy named Rowdy by sharing personal issues and problems with him. Junior and Rowdy had a love and hate relationship. When Junior decides to leave the Wellpinit high school and head for Reardan, Rowdy takes Junior’s decision as a personal affront. He sees Junior as a traitor and, though Junior invites Rowdy to join him at Reardan, Rowdy reacts to being abandoned by renouncing Junior’s friendship. Junior always knew in his heart that Rowdy “would always be his best friend, no matter how much he hated him” (161). On Thanksgiving, Junior misses Rowdy during dinner, so he decides to make a cartoon for Rowdy. He goes to his house to give it to him to repair their friendship. When Junior arrives at Rowdy’s house, Rowdy’s dad opens the door and takes the cartoon.

Rowdy still is Irate at Junior for betraying him, but he doesn’t rip the cartoon that Junior made for him. Later on, Junior experiences three tragic deaths his grandmother, family friend, Eugene, and his sister Mary all die. Junior “wanted to find Rowdy and hug him and beg him to forgive Junior for leaving” (218) because Junior needs Rowdy during his toughest time. Overall, that leads to Rowdy forgiving Junior and rebuilding their deep full relationship.

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