The novel, “The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, is written by Sherman Alexie (Alexie). The novel is a first-person narrative by the perspective of Arnold Spirit Jr., a native American teenager, and a promising cartoonist. The novel revolves around the life of Junior and his friend Rowdy. Junior throughout the play is portrayed as compassionate, sincere and resilient. At the beginning of the story, Junior revealed that he was born with excess spinal fluid in the brain and had too many teeth due to which he was bullied by the people around him. He also revealed that during this vulnerable time he met Rowdy who promised him to protect him from the bullies.
At the beginning of the story, Junior and Rowdy are portrayed as best friends. Rowdy supports Junior’s art. However, shortly after Junior in the novel describes his inseparable bond with Rowdy, he rejects his friendship. The main reason for rejection is Rowdy’s own violent tendencies that prevent him to help Junior (Kedong 94).
Throughout the novel junior struggles with a strange sense of internal contradiction. Despite being excited to start the first year at Wellpinit high school he throws the book at Mr. P.'s face after seeing the signature of his mother on the book. After this incident Mr. P. advice Junior to get off the reservation as quickly as possible. Following his advice, Junior decided to go to the school in an all-white town.
As Junior belongs from a poor family and often faced discrimination he became frustrated and due to his frustration, he punched Roger who passed a racist joke on him. This reaction earned him respect in the eyes of Roger. Initially, after joining Rearden he felt difficulty in adjusting owing to the cultural differences yet after some time he became friends with boys of his age who were also white. He also made a girlfriend named Penelope who was also white (Johnson 225).
Initially, in the novel, Junior was a shy teenage boy but later he became stronger and even joined a basketball team. Despite several difficulties, he earned his place on a team and due to his strong decisive skills his team won the match as well. While discussing Junior and Rowdy's relationship, at the end of the novel Rowdy came back to meet Junior and they both forget the past and started playing like they used to play when they were kids.
Alexie, Sherman, and Ellen Forney. The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian. Recorded Books, 2008.
Johnson, Jan. "Healing the Soul Wound in Flight and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." Sherman Alexie: A Collection of Critical Essays (2010): 224-240.
Kedong, Liu. "The image of postindian warrior in the absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian." Foreign Literature Studies 33.6 (2011): 92-96.
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