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

Theme:

to live between two cultures.

1) Traveling between Reardan and Wellpinit, between the little white town and the reservation, I always felt like a stranger.

I was half Indian in one place and half white in the other.

It was like being Indian was my job, but it was only a part-time job. And it didn’t pay well.

2) “The people at home,” I said. “A lot of them call me an apple.”

“Do they think you’re a fruit or something?” he asked.

“No, no,” I said. “They call me an apple because they think I’m red on the outside and white on the inside.”

I found two quotes that I felt matched the theme perfectly. There are several themes in the book such as alcoholism, friendship, and racism. Nevertheless, I think that the main theme in the book is to live between two cultures. Junior does not fit in with the Indian community and he doesn’t fit in in the ”white” community either. He feels like he plays the role of Arnold outside the rez, and junior inside the rez. He is constantly stuck between two different cultures.

Setting:

The new school

”My name is Melinda”, she said. ”Welcome to Redarn High School. Here´s your schedule, a copy of the school constitution and moral code, and a temporary student ID. We´ve got you assigned to Mr. Grant for homeroom. You better hustle on down there. You´re late.”

”Ah where is that?” I asked.

”We´ve only got one hallway here”, he said and smiled. She had red hair and green eyes and was kind of sexy for an old woman. ” It´s all the way down on the left.”

I showed the paperwork into my backpack and hustled down to my homeroom.

The setting in the book is partly in the rez but mostly in Juniors new school and home. I chose this quote because it is his first meet with the new school.

Plot Quote:

To choose your own path

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.

I think this quote describes the plot in the book quite well. The book is basically about junior, the Indian boy who has big dreams and decides to leave the rez. A huge part of the book is also about how the Indians have been victims of alcoholism; which has resulted in a lot of tragedies within the Indian communities.

Character development:

“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.”

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 developed 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. I feel like junior became more confident as well, longer into the book.

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