database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission the publisher. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. The Black-Eye-of-the-Month Club . The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is a coming-of-age story written in first person narrative from the perspective of fourteen-year-old Arnold Spirit Jr. Uploaded by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other.
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In the case of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, Junior lives in a world defined by the effects of postcolonialism. The white society that colonized. Dr. Marion Gymnich Winter semester /15 Representations of Life on the Reservation in Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian . Read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian PDF Ebook by Sherman Alexie. Little, ePUB BT2O8TW, parttallparpona.ga .PDF).
The Andruss brothers laughed and walked away. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the Andruss triplets are thirty years old? What kind of men beat up a fourteen-year-old boy? Major-league assholes. I was lying on the ground, holding my nuts as tenderly as a squirrel holds his nuts, when Rowdy walked up. Who did this to you? The Andruss brothers, I said. Did they hit you in the head?
He knows that my brain is fragile. If those Andruss brothers had punched a hole in the aquarium of my skull, I might have ooded out the entire powwow. My brain is ne, I said. But my balls are dying. Im going to kill those bastards, Rowdy said. Of course, Rowdy didnt kill them, but we hid near the Andruss brothers camp until three in the morning. They staggered back and passed out in their tent. Then Rowdy snuck in, shaved off their eyebrows, and cut off their braids.
Thats about the worst thing you can do to an Indian guy. It had taken them years to grow their hair. And Rowdy cut that away in ve seconds.
I loved Rowdy for doing that. I felt guilty for loving him for that. But revenge also feels pretty good. The Andruss brothers never did gure out who cut their eyebrows and hair. Rowdy started a rumor that it was a bunch of Makah Indians from the coast who did it. You cant trust them whale hunters, Rowdy said. Theyll do anything. But before you think Rowdy is only good for revenge, and kicking the shit out of minivans, raindrops, and people, let me tell you something sweet about him: But not the cool superhero ones like Daredevil or X-Men.
Kid stuff. He keeps them hidden in a hole in the wall of his bedroom closet. Almost every day, Ill head over to his house and well read those comics together.
Rowdy isnt a fast reader, but hes persistent. And hell just laugh and laugh at the dumb jokes, no matter how many times hes read the same comic. I like the sound of Rowdys laughter. I dont hear it very often, but its always sort of this avalanche of ha-ha and ho-ho and hee-hee.
I like to make him laugh. He loves my cartoons. Hes a big, goofy dreamer, too, just like me. He likes to pretend he lives inside the comic books. I guess a fake life inside a cartoon is a lot better than his real life.
So I draw cartoons to make him happy, to give him other worlds to live inside. I draw his dreams. And he only talks about his dreams with me. And I only talk about my dreams with him. I tell him about my fears. I think Rowdy might be the most important person in my life. Maybe more important than my family. Can your best friend be more important than your family? I think so. I mean, after all, I spend a lot more time with Rowdy than I do with anyone else. Lets do the math. I gure Rowdy and I have spent an average of eight hours a day together for the last fourteen years.
Thats eight hours times days times fourteen years. So that means Rowdy and I have spent 40, hours in each others company.
Nobody else comes anywhere close to that. Trust me. Rowdy and I are inseparable. I was happy about that. And I was most especially excited about my rst geometry class. Yep, I have to admit that isosceles triangles make me feel hormonal. Most guys, no matter what age, get excited about curves and circles, but not me. Dont get me wrong. I like girls and their curves.
And I really like women and their curvier curves. I spend hours in the bathroom with a magazine that has one thousand pictures of naked movie stars:. Im proud of it. Im good at it. Im ambidextrous. If there were a Professional Masturbators League, Id get drafted number one and make millions of dollars. And maybe youre thinking, Well, you really shouldnt be talking about masturbation in public. And if God hadnt wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldnt have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs.
But, the thing is, no matter how much time my thumbs and I spend with the curves of imaginary women, I am much more in love with the right angles of buildings. When I was a baby, Id crawl under my bed and snuggle into a corner to sleep. I just felt warm and safe leaning into two walls at the same time. When I was eight, nine, and ten, I slept in my bedroom closet with the door closed.
I only stopped doing that because my big sister, Mary, told me that I was just trying to nd my way back into my mothers womb.
That ruined the whole closet thing. I dont have anything against my mothers womb. I was built in there, after all. So I have to say that I am pro-womb. But I have zero interest in moving back home, so to speak. My sister is good at ruining things. After high school, my sister just froze. Didnt go to college, didnt get a job.
Didnt do anything. Kind of sad, I guess. But she is also beautiful and strong and funny. She is the prettiest and strongest and funniest person who ever spent twentythree hours a day alone in a basement. She is so crazy and random that we call her Mary Runs Away. Im not like her at all. I am steady. Im excited about life. Im excited about school.
Rowdy and I are planning on playing high school basketball. Last year, Rowdy and I were the best players on the eighth-grade team.
But I dont think Ill be a very good high school player. Rowdy is probably going to start varsity as a freshman, but I gure the bigger and better kids will crush me. Its one thing to hit jumpers over other eighth graders; its a whole other thing to score on high school monsters.
Ill probably be a benchwarmer on the C squad while Rowdy goes on to all-state glory and fame. I am a little worried that Rowdy will start to hang around with the older guys and leave me behind. Im also worried that hell start to pick on me, too. Im scared he might start hating me as much as all of the others do. But I am more happy than scared. And I know that the other kids are going to give me crap for being so excited about school.
But I dont care. I was sitting in a freshman classroom at Wellpinit High School when Mr. P strolled in with a box full of geometry textbooks. And let me tell you, Mr. P is a weird-looking dude. But no matter how weird he looks, the absolutely weirdest thing about Mr.
P is that sometimes he forgets to come to school. Let me repeat that: Yep, we have to send a kid down to the teachers housing compound behind the school to wake Mr.
P, who is always conking out in front of his TV. Thats right. P sometimes teaches class in his pajamas. He is a weird old coot, but most of the kids dig him because he doesnt ask too much of us.
I mean, how can you expect your students to work hard if you show up in your pajamas and slippers? And yeah, I know its weird, but the tribe actually houses all of the teachers in one-bedroom cottages and musty, old trailer houses behind the school. You cant teach at our school if you dont live in the compound.
It was like some kind of.
Some of our teachers make us eat birdseed so well feel closer to the earth, and other teachers hate birds because they are supposedly minions of the Devil. It is like being taught by Jekyll and Hyde. But Mr. P isnt a Democratic-, Republican-, Christian-, or Devil-worshipping freak. He is just sleepy. But some folks are absolutely convinced he is, like, this Sicilian accountant who testied against the Maa, and had to be hidden by that secret Witness Relocation Program.
It makes some goofy sort of sense, I suppose. If the government wants to hide somebody, theres probably no place more isolated than my reservation, which is located approximately one million miles north of Important and two billion miles west of Happy. But jeez, I think people pay way too much attention to The Sopranos.
Mostly, I just think Mr. P is a lonely old man who used to be a lonely young man. And for some reason I dont understand, lonely white people love to hang around lonelier Indians. All right, kids, lets get cracking, Mr. P said as he passed out the geometry books. How about we do something strange and start on page one? I grabbed my book and opened it up.
I wanted to smell it. Heck, I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. Thats right, I am a book kisser. Maybe thats kind of perverted or maybe its just romantic and highly intelligent. But my lips and I stopped short when I saw this written on the inside front cover:. Well, let me tell you. Agnes Adams is my mother. And Adams is her maiden name. 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 thirty when she gave birth to me. Yep, so that means I was staring at a geometry book that was at least thirty years older than I was. I couldnt believe it. How horrible is that? My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from.
That is absolutely the saddest thing in the world. And let me tell you, that old, old, old, decrepit geometry book hit my heart with the force of a nuclear bomb. My hopes and dreams oated up in a mushroom cloud. What do you do when the world has declared nuclear war on you? The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist 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.
Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. A Multicultural Curriculum. Jump to Page. Search inside document. An and not int titio l identa coinc First Edit ion: Sept ember 20 07 ISBN So hunger is not the worst thing about being poor.
I spend hours in the bathroom with a magazine that has one thousand pictures of naked movie stars: But my lips and I stopped short when I saw this written on the inside front cover: Related Interests Laughter.
Random House Teens.
Random House Kids. Chioma Annabell Smith. Raska Hotic. Srijan Rajbamshi. Ridho Manix. Nikola At Niko. Ajit Singh. Brad Martinez. Dennar Z. Myers Ricalde. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The Land of Stories 5: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer excerpt. The Imaginary Veterinary Book 6: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: By leaving the rez Junior finds what he had been missing out on during his life.
The sad side of reservation life 4. Alcoholism is a serious problem in Indian communities. Alcoholism was also a problem that Alexie himself dealt with when he was younger James The reservation creates an atmosphere where cruelty is a common occurrence due to poverty and alcoholism.
It is a place with negative influences everywhere and lack of opportunities to get away from it. As mentioned before, the emphasis on education is missing on the rez, which in return promotes the feeling of hopelessness and the certainty that there will be no bright future ahead.
This is a way to widespread and omnipresent alcoholism, and everyone on the rez is apparently content with living in an environment where drunkenness is commonplace.
His grandmother is killed by a drunk driver, his father's best friend Eugene is killed in a bar, and his sister dies because she is passed out drunk in the back of her burning trailer. The fact that Junior is appalled by alcohol and its consequences shows the worst part of living on the reservation, because he is constantly surrounded by it. For his dad alcohol is a way to drink away his pain and the feeling of a failed life cf. Unhappiness and failure becomes a reason and an excuse for drinking.
Junior's dad could go out to get drunk and be gone for a week cf. This is Junior's reality of living on the reservation. Not on the rez. Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die.
Reservations are not a place of hope. You have to leave this reservation. No, I mean you have to leave the rez forever p. When his teacher, Mr. P, visits Junior and tells him to leave the reservation in order to find hope and find a better future, Junior is confused, because leaving the rez has never even been a possibility. Yet at the same time he wants to take the opportunity to escape the hopelessness he has to live in.
Junior's escape leads him to an all-white school in Reardan. It is not the most welcoming of places for Indians. In the beginning, Junior is as isolated in his new school as he is on the rez. Junior struggles to connect both worlds, because his identity is being questioned by everyone around him as well as by himself cf. Jamie Korsmo explains that in Sherman Alexie's novels Indians exist in a world in which they do not belong and must struggle to find a middle ground between the two identities that are constantly at odds with one another, that of their Native heritage and that of the dominant white culture that surrounds them 3.
Finding a new identity starts with a new name. Junior's real name is Arnold, and that is what the others call him in Reardan, while on the rez he is called Junior. After he has made his decision, Junior mentions a few times how important it is for him to leave the rez.
However, for the other Indians on the rez it becomes symbolic of him abandoning his Indian culture, and trading it for a life among white Americans. The tribe is not only Junior's home, but it also places physical and mental boundaries on Indian people.
Junior emancipates himself from the stereotypical expectations on the rez, and proves at the same time that he does not believe in the impossibility of success in the white world cf. In some way Junior is unpredictable, and therefore he is almost seen as a threat to the reliable image that Native Americans have of themselves. It was the opposite of my family. I was the opposite of me. At home on the rez, Junior is treated in the worst way when he leaves the house: In contrast to that, in his new school nobody used physical violence, which was a new experience for Junior.
So mostly they called me names. Junior experiences two cultures, but at the same time he feels caught in between white people and Indians. He has to go back and forth between the rez and his school in Reardon, and this physical trip of 22 miles to school every day also becomes a mental one off of the reservation.
Moving between two places—and two worlds—means discovering different norms and adapting them, and eventually becoming a part of both. For Junior it is a daily journey between the outside world, and the small and limited world of the reservation. For most Native Americans on the rez alike it is about escaping hopelessness and powerlessness, figuratively through alcohol, or literally by leaving the rez.
Conclusion There are many different aspects about living on the reservation, and as with every living situation it varies from good to bad. However, life on the reservation is rarely good, and it can only be described as hopeless. This already starts with a poor education system which leads to a cycle of not having a job, living in poverty, and drowning failure in alcohol.
Poor education will not make anyone successful outside the rez, and it ends in a feeling of resignation, and the only possibility left is to stay with the tribe. Reservations were created in the mid 19th century to keep Indians apart from white settlers, because Indians were seen as wild and uncivilized creatures, and with their culture and traditions they were isolated on reservations. In some ways they still are. But nowadays reservations are seen as places where Indian culture is preserved.
He has one friend and a good family. His parents are more caring than other parents, and they do not question his decision to leave the rez. For Junior, life on the reservation means being bullied and mostly being surrounded by drunk people at any given time. He is not like other Indians as he does not like to drink or fight, and therefore he has already been an outsider his entire life. He finds comfort in reading books and drawing comics. Alcohol is a permanent problem on the reservation, and yet alcohol and fighting seems to be an essential part of being part of an Indian community.
Everybody is drunk for any possible occasion, or even without an occasion. Junior finds out that there is a chance at a different and a better life outside the rez, but he also learns that when someone leaves the tribe, it means that this person is seen as a traitor. In his new school it turns out that he is good at playing basketball, and he slowly finds new friends, but by contrasting his life in Reardan with his life on the rez, it becomes more apparent how sad it can be to live on a reservation.
After some confusion Junior adapts to the norms and the culture outside the rez, and he learns how to live in two different worlds. This is something that most Native Americans will never do. Through his daily journey to Reardan Junior becomes less Indian and more American, and it is as much of a mental journey as it is a physical one. But it turns out that hope cannot be found on the reservation. Life on the reservation is a struggle, and it predominantly leads to a life that is destined to end in poverty and unhappiness, unless someone is crazy and brave enough to go out and look for something better.
Works Cited 6. Primary Literature Alexie, Sherman. Secondary Literature Chang, Li Ping et al. He thinks of killing the birds, the air. In his homework he reads Euripides and is reminded of the soul wound of his people: WE lost our native land, we lost our languages, we lost our songs and dances. We lost each other. Ferrell-Horan 19 He has hit rock bottom emotionally despite his success at Reardan. She humiliates him in the face of his grief in front of the whole class: Junior feels like he has been slapped in the face by her sarcastic remark.
He wants to slap her back and tell her off but admits: Then something amazing happens that Junior could never have foreseen: He took his textbook and dropped it. He looked so strong. He looked like a warrior. He was protecting me like Rowdy used to protect me. Of course, Rowdy would have thrown the book at the teacher and then punched her. Gordy showed a lot of courage in standing up to a teacher like that.
Then all the students walked out of the room leaving him and Mrs. Jeremy; as Junior notes in an ironic twist: Jeremy asks why. By Indian and white. The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are assholes and the people who are not. It all gave me hope. Finally, Junior is allowed a glimmer of hope and a little bit of joy in the white world. But he is still missing any kind of joy, hope, respect or relief in his Indian world.
Then comes the climax of the book. He is given an opportunity for a rematch basketball game against his old high school. The crowd boos him as usual when he walks into the gym. Junior admits he had never had an adult tell him that before. It gives him strength to overcome his fear and step into the gym. He gets mad. He defeats Rowdy and his former team. They beat Wellpinit by forty points. He was the champion. He looks for his dad and sees him quiet. He looks for what his dad is looking at in silence.
He sees his old team and thinks: We had defeated the champions! And then I realized something. He knows the pain and suffering of the Redskins, his former team.
He has been there, felt it himself. He knows some of the kids had no breakfast that day because they are so poor like him. He knows some have alcoholic parents like his dad. He knows none of them are going to college and have given up their dreams like his sister. He knows Rowdy will be beaten by his father for losing the game. This was not really a win for Junior.
He is ashamed of wanting to humiliate them. They already suffered from enough humiliation every day from the soul wound they carry. Junior had left the Reservation long enough to forget about his soul wound for a moment.
But it is still there in the hearts of his people. And he made it worse that night by beating them. Rowdy responds: Junior also finds solace and healing in his family and his tribe. He realizes he is a member of many tribes.
He realizes there are many lonely sad people out there that are not Indians. He realizes he will not fulfill the destiny of his soul wound as his family and ancestors had. He will be the one to change his path in history: I realized that I might be a lonely Indian boy, but I was not alone in my loneliness. He mourns for his tribe. He cries because so many are killing themselves and drinking themselves to death and will never find hope the way he did.
He wishes they could all find a way off the Reservation. Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear. Ferrell-Horan 23 But somehow or another, Indians have forgotten that reservations were meant to be death camps. I wept because I was the only one who was brave and crazy enough to leave the rez.
By escaping the very thing that was designed to kill him and his people Junior Spirit survives his soul wound and finds hope and joy in the world outside the reservation as well as within himself. In this epistolary novel we are shown the effects of the massive soul wound Native Americans have borne due to the colonization of their society by the Europeans. In the postcolonial world, they have not able to recover due to lack of opportunities, depression, nihilism and substance abuse.
The reservations offer no opportunities for success and the Native Americans are unable to pull themselves out from under the weight of depression, grief, anger and pain. In this novel, however, Junior defies the stereotypes and finds hope against all odds. He must go out and live in the white world to better his own life.
Junior becomes an Indian warrior and peacemaker, a nerd and scholar, a popular athlete and a normal teenager with a girlfriend. He is himself at heart, but from his encounters he learns to use the pieces to become whole; he uses the insights from Gordy on how to learn, the acceptance and friendship from Roger to be a popular role model and athlete, and he remains loyal to his best friend Rowdy and in the end wins back his friendship. He remains true to his family and friends as well as his ancestors.
I think this is how Alexie has survived as well. He found a voice and success in the white world, but he is still first and foremost a Native American, and has made it his life work to try to improve the soul wound for his people through his voice as a successful author.
New York: Hachette Book Group, Double Consciousness. Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Bryan S. Cambridge University Press, Credo Reference. Duran, E. Journal of Counseling and Development: JCD, 86 3 , Guftasen, Fred. Jung and the Native American Soul. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. Henriques, A. Johnson, Jan. A Collection of Critical Essays. Roush, Jan and Jeff Berglund, Eds. Salt Lake City: