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A Place: An Argument Of Which Community Junior Belongs To?

Decent Essays
To Find a Place: An Argument of Which Community Junior Truly Belongs To “When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible,” according to Brené Brown, a scholar, author, and public speaker. Junior, the main protagonist of the novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, tries to find a place to truly belong to throughout the piece. However, Junior shifts between two different societies in the book; Wellpinit, the reservation Junior lives on, and Reardan, the school in a mostly-white neighborhood outside of Wellpinit that Junior attends. While Junior is a part of both communities, by the end, Junior belongs…show more content…
Junior has been an outcast in Wellpinit for the majority of his life. He was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid in his skull, already setting a difference between him and the Wellpinit community, as most of Wellpinit is not accepting of this. “Everybody on the rez calls [him] a retard about twice a day. They call [him] a retard when they are pantsing [him] or stuffing [his] head in the toilet or just smacking or just smacking [him] upside the head...Do you know what happens to retards on the rez? [They] get beat up” (4). Through calling Junior “retard” and violently harming him, the people of Wellpinit harass Junior. Harassment leads to feeling less of a part of the community and more of an outsider. Junior would not be harassed by the community if the community cared about him, revealing they do not. Also, when the people of Wellpinit discover Junior decides to leave the reservation to go to school at Reardan, they are dissatisfied. When Junior gets beat up by three guys in Wellpinit, Junior knows, “Mostly they just wanted to remind [him] that [he] was a traitor” (79). Junior goes to Reardan to receive a better education in order to procure a better future. The three men jumping Junior due to disliking his decision exhibits a lack of support for Junior and his dreams of a better…show more content…
Junior attends Reardan after persuasion from Mr. P, a teacher at a Wellpinit. At first, Junior sees himself as an outsider in a new world. However, Junior soon meets new people at Reardan and is supported by them and others. This support from Junior’s peers is apparent when Junior goes to his social studies class after missing school due to the deaths of his grandmother and Eugene, his father’s best friend. His teacher, Mrs. Jeremy, sarcastically shames him for missing the amount of classes he missed although she knows about the deaths. The students of Reardan all retaliate against Mrs. Jeremy. “...it was Gordy who defended [him]. He stood with his textbook and dropped it...He was protecting [him]...Gordy showed a lot of courage in standing up to a teacher like that. And his courage inspired others. Penelope stood and dropped her textbook. And then Roger stood and dropped his textbook...Then the other basketball players did the same...Then all of my classmates walked out of the room” (175). The students dropping their textbooks and walking out of the classroom is their method of fighting back against the hurtful statements made against Junior. The students are protecting him by fighting back, displaying that the students are sticking up for Junior and supporting him against his unjust teacher. This support would not have been present if the students do not accept Junior as part of their
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