My reading of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”

Todays task was to find important parts of the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part time Indian” regarding these topics: theme, setting, plot and character development.

 

Theme. I think this part of the book shows the theme well. Personaly I think the theme in the book is how indians live in the rez, and how it is to go to a white school being an indian, to live between two cultures. Junior describes is as being an apple. Red on the outside and white on the inside. Juniors feels like and indian, but also as an american. In this part of the book Junior has just arrived at his new school, and this is his thoughts. This part of the book really touched me. The fact that Junior thinks that”Indians don`t deserve shit” is very powerful and sad.

They stared at me, the Indian boy with the black eye and swollen nose, my going-away from Rowdy. Those white kids couldn`t belive their eyes. They stared at malice I was Bigfoot or a UFO. What was I doing at Reardan, whose mascot was an indian, thereby making me the one and only other Indian in town?

So what was I doing in racist Reardan, where more than half of every graduating class went to collage? Nobody in my family had ever gone near collage. Reardon was the opposite of the rez. It was the opposite of my family. It was the opposite of me. I didn`t deserve to be there. I knew it; all of those kids knew it. Indians don`t deserve shit.

 

 

Setting. When it comes to the setting of the book, I think this part of the book describes it perfectly. The quote is from a conversation Junior is having with his teacher. After throwing a book in the teachers face, Junior got a suspension and Mr. P consults him outside his home. Arnold threw the book in frustration after finding out it was previously used by his mom. The book was old and proved that the school did not evolve. Mr. P describes a place with angry people and no hope or dreams, he wants the boy out of this place, the rez. So the setting of the story is a sad reservation.

All these kids have given up,” he said. “All of your friends. All the bullies. And their mothers and fathers have given up, too. And their grandparents gave up and their grandparents before them. And me and every other teacher here. We´re all defeated.”

Mr. P was crying […]
“But not you,” Mr. P said. “You can´t give up. You won´t give up. You threw that book in my face because somewhere inside you refuse to give up.”[…]
“If you stay on this rez,” Mr. P said, “they´re going to kill you. I´m going to kill you. We´re all going to kill you. You can´t fight us forever.”[…]
“Son,” Mr. P said. “you´re going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation.”

 

 

Plot. The plot of the book is very well shown in this little quote. Junior`s parents are drunks, and this effects him. A lot of people in his life has died because of alcohol, and he decides to live a better life that does not involve. He wants a better life for himself. Junior has big dreams and desires to leave the rez. In this quote Junior describes the life in the rez, and it is quite touching.

I cried because so many of my fellow tribal members were slowly killing themselves and I wanted them to live. I wanted them to get strong and get sober and get the hell off the rez. It´s a weird thing. Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear. But somehow or another, Indians have forgotten that reservations were met to be death camps. I wept because I was the only one who was brave and crazy enough to leave the rez. I was the only one with enough arrogance. I wept and wept and wept because I knew that I was never going to drink and because I was never going to kill myself and because I was going to have a better life out in the white world.

 

 

Character development. It was very hard to find one part of the book that showed Juniors development as a character. I think that Junior does change and dlevelope throughout the entire book, and it is quite hard to pick out one part. Although I think this part describes Junior`s, and actually Rowdy`s growth.

“You`re an old-time nomad,” Rowdy said. “You`re going to keep moving over the world in search of food and water and grazing land. That`s pretty cool.”

I could barely talk.

“Thank you,” I said.

I would always love Rowdy. And I would always miss him, too. Just as I would always love and miss my grandmother, my big sister and Eugene.

Just as I would always miss my reservations and my tribe.

 

part-time-indian1

Thank you for reading my blogpost, I hope you liked it.

-Ingrid

 

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