The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-time Indian: The Section Analysis

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

I think it’s really cool that the book takes each entry as a chapter and how each chapter begins with a heading of a certain theme instead of a date. My first impression of Junior is that he’s very positive and outgoing. He explains his struggles in the first few chapters, and approaches those struggles in an optimistic way, such as how he thinks that “hunger makes food taste better.” The book is also humorous. Junior is very easy going and openly discusses to the audience about topics people are discouraged to talk about in public, such as masturbation, homosexuality and race. He often treats these topics casually, like the time he relates masturbation to his geometry class. Quote Log “I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.” (Alexie 6) In the first chapter of the book, Junior explains how he was born with excess cerebrospinal fluid and developed some unique physical traits from this condition. These what he calls “abnormalities” lead to a childhood of bullying from his peers and the consequences of the bullying caused him to develop a lot of self-hatred. We can see from this quote that Junior deals with these struggles by drawing cartoons. Junior also mentions the poverty he and his family experience in the first few pages of this book and hopes that one day his drawing hobbies will give him an opportunity to escape this poverty. 

This section of the book is mostly about Junior’s life in Reardan. Junior is torn between the two worlds he’s a part of. At Reardan, Junior is treated as an outsider, an Indian, and at the reservation, he’s a traitor and a “white-lover.” Junior feels outcasted from both of these worlds and struggles with his internal contradictions. On the reservation, fighting is accepted, some could even say encouraged, while at Reardan, it is unacceptable. Even though Junior violates this unspoken rule at Reardan, it makes him seem courageous to the students, and ultimately gains the respect of some students, such as Roger and the jocks. Junior begins to realize that even though being an outcast is difficult, it has some advantages amongst the many disadvantages. Quote Log “It feels good to help people, doesn’t it?” (Alexie 81) The audience can see Junior’s pillar of compassion and morality in the centre of his character from this line. Junior says that it feels good to help people, but ironically, he did not succeed to collect money for the homeless by any means. Penelope is only adding Junior’s name to the donation out of sympathy, but this passage shows the readers that Junior is optimistic enough that imagining the possibilities of helping others lifts his spirits. His resilience strongly emphasizes the torments and hardships of his life.

Journal In this section of the book, Junior’s racial biases can be cleary shown to the readers. When Gordy concludes that he is “racist asshole just like everybody else,” Junior realizes that Gordy and everybody else around him is right. Penelope’s all white volleyball outfit fuses to Junior’s biases, how he perceives Penelope, by her racial identity. Junior conceives being white as superior, filled with opportunities and happiness. Junior discovers that he is flawed in ways he didn’t even realize. This moment of self-realization by Junior really made me think about ways I could possibly be biased myself without knowing it. Quote Log “If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.” (Alexie 129) This quote can be seen at the end of the chapter “Dance, Dance, Dance,” after Roger invites him and Penelope to a restaurant after the dance. he goes to throw up in the bathroom because of his lingering anxiety of not having a lot of money, and that he can’t offer much to Penelope as a result. Junior tries desperately to try to hide his poverty from the kids at Reardan, and when Roger comes to check on him in the bathroom, he tells Roger that he forgot his wallet at home, he offers Junior 40 dollars to pay for his food and tells him to go have fun without worrying so much about it. This marks a crucial turning point in the book, where Junior learns to ask for and accept help. His friends responded with kindness and support when he finally confessed to poverty, rather than with insults. Junior finally starts to feel like he really belongs at Reardan, whereas before this event he felt like a total outsider. He recognizes that even the boy who has said the most racist thing he has ever heard can be caring and understanding.  

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