Connie starts out in the story as someone that is self-absorbed, concerned for no one but herself. Arnold Friend is really the same way. He tells her that he saw her “that night and thought, that’s the one” (Oates 480). In spite of the words he uses, the reader knows that Arnold does not have any true feelings for Connie because he says “My sweet little blue-eyed girl” (Oates 483). Arnold is oblivious to the fact that Connie has brown eyes. “In Arnold’s view, Connie’s personal identity is totally unimportant” (Wegs 3).
Throughout the story, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Junior goes through many ups and downs. This story is about how Junior, an indian from the Spokane reservation, decides to go to Rearden, the school for non-indians because of how run-down his school is and has trouble fitting in. Some of the ways Junior dealt with those downs include his uncanny sense of humor, his love for his friends, and the want to fit in and prove he’s just as good as everyone else at his new school.
At first Junior didn't like himself; he was constantly beaten up, he had a lisp and stuttered so he had no self-confidence. When he made the decision to go to Reardan, a white school, even Rowdy left him. Rowdy thought Junior was betraying their school by going away and transferring so Rowdy didn't talk to Junior anymore. Without his best friend, Junior completely lost hope. He was scared of the white people and did not expect them to welcome him. He was right. Most of the Americans were cold to him and he did not try to raise his status. Many of the white people made fun of him, and when one guy, Roger, said "Did you know that Indians are living proof that niggers f*** buffalo?" (pg. 64) he felt that he had to stop it. So he punched him. Junior was expecting to get punched back, but he didn't. In the Indian Reservation, he
The second obstacle that Junior overcame was poverty. Being an Indian and living on the reservation he grew up with little to no money, and any money they did have his dad drank away. One common thing that Junior heard when he asked his dad for a ride to school in Reardan was, “’Don’t have enough gas,’ (Alexie70).” Junior never let the fact that his parents didn’t have any money stop him from going to school. He would either walk or hitchhike his way there even if he would be late. Junior was very determined to get to school to create that future he was dreaming of. He didn’t want the kids at Reardan to think of him as any different as they were. One way he did this was by pretending he had money, “My parents gave me just enough money so that I could pretend to have more money than I did, (Alexie119).” He knew he was poor, but he didn’t want his friends to know he was too. Junior wanted to be like everyone else and just fit in. He didn’t want the kids to think just because he was poor he couldn’t hang out with them. Eventually his friends discover that he has little money. They didn’t even think about not hanging out with him. They actually offer to help him and give him rides. If anything the fact that they knew more about him made him more popular with them. Junior would walk to school when there was no gas, he would hang out and go places with friends even when they knew he was poor. When Junior lets loose, he becomes a better person an overcomes his poverty with
In the Absolutely True Diary Junior expresses great growth in his view of himself and who he is, because he sees that he is not just someone who belongs to one group, but someone of many groups. This is conveyed, because Junior states, "I that, sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms. And the tribe of cartoonists. And the tribe of chronic masturbators. And the tribe of teenage boys.
At the beginning of Alexie’s life teachers and classmates demonstrate the racism. Sherman Alexie’s classmates are the first example of racism, with racist nicknames and bullying that start the chain of hardship in his life. Alexie narrates, “I was always falling down; my Indian name was Junior Falls Down. Sometimes it was Bloody Nose or Steal-His-Lunch” (Alexie 3). This quote is important because it conveys the racism that Alexie’s see in the early parts of his life with racist nicknames and the bullying that is brought. One way that this quote is racist is that Alexie refers to these nicknames as “Indian names”. It also depicts the bullying that Alexie endured with getting his lunch stolen, getting bloody noses, and falling down. Although this is a minor plot point to the story, this sets the reader up for the more and more detailed hardships that racism brings. Another example of racism in Sherman Alexie’s life is his teacher who bullies him for no reason. She makes him stay in for recess, hold books for fifteen minutes, and force him to cut his braids, and on top of all that she uses a negative connotation when describing
The physical traits of Arnold Friend that the narrator describes are additional clues that Arnold is not who he claims to be. The three physical traits are: his eyelashes look painted, it looks like he is wearing a wig, and he put something in his shoes to make himself taller: “she saw how thick the lashes were, thick and black as if painted with a black tarlike material” (Oates, 1966), “He placed his sunglasses on top of his head, carefully, as if he were indeed wearing a wig, and
In Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior is a young American Indian that is shy and has low self-esteem, and has a few issues physically and his surroundings. He has a best friend named Rowdy. Rowdy is rude and has no emotion to any situation. What many people at the reservation don’t know is that Rowdy and Junior have real problems at home with their parents. The differences between Rowdy and Junior are the family and the personalities.
Growing up on a reservation where almost everyone has lost hope, Junior feels like an outcast for having a passion to chase after his dreams. When he moves to Reardan to find hope, he is gawked at and teased because he is the only Indian there. Junior faces internal conflicts within himself figuring out how to balance his two selves. According to Junior, “traveling between Reardan and Wellpinit, between the little white town and the reservation, [he] always felt like a stranger. [Junior] was half Indian in one place and half white in the other. It was like being Indian was [Junior’s] job, but it was only a part-time job. And it didn’t pay well at all” (Alexie 118). Junior is determined to discover his identity as it is evident in his choice of words. Feeling like a stranger wherever he goes, he believes that he is too white for the reservation while being too Indian for Reardan. The people on the reservation live in an atmosphere where they trust only each other and stick up for one another. However, when Junior goes to the reservation after being exposed to a community filled with white people, the Spokane’s do not see him as a true Indian anymore, hence the reason why Junior
He also deals with an Identity-crisis and not able to recognize which should relate to. As he says ''They stared at me, the Indian boy with the black eye and swollen nose, my going-away gifts from Rowdy. Those white kids couldn't believe their eyes. They stared at me like I was Bigfoot or a UFO. What was I doing at Reardan, whose mascot was an Indian, thereby making me the only other Indian in town? (Sherman 27). On his first at the new school, Arnold sees himself not only through his own eyes, but also through the eyes his classmates as well. He realizes that they don't see him as Junior the weirdo Indian, to them, he is something foreign. In this sense, Arnold starts seeing the way he sees himself and the way his classmates sees him.
Arnold/Junior Spirit is a fourteen year old Spokane Indian who lives on a small reservation in Washington state. In the book The Absolutely True Diary of a part-Time Indian, Junior leaves his reservation for a primary white school called Reardan to find hope. He struggles with friendships, family, basketball, school work and identity through the year. His experiences on and off the reservation, are constantly changing his beliefs to become less racist and more positive. For example, Junior begins thinking that hope is barely reachable for him, but ends the book realizing that nothing stops him from having hope except how much he works for it.
The Spokane Indians held these "rules" in such high regard that when Junior actually followed these rules and struck his bully in the face, the bully just stood in awe. In Junior 's society the logical thing to do would be to attack when you are highly insulted. But on the contrary, this new society did not follow his rules, nor did they have any of their own. By giving us, the readers, this list the author has strengthened his logos factor in this particular story.
109), because he's an "absolute stranger" to Reardan, and also, Penelope's dad is racist. Still, they become close friends and start dating. He also makes friends with Roger (surprisingly), since Roger is a friend of Penelope. When Junior made the basketball team, they become closer. Roger even gave Junior a ride home after a basketball game. Arnold also becomes a friend of a geek, Gordy. They were both "outcasts", and they understood how it felt to not fit in. After making all these friends, he feels that he is starting to fit in with the white people.
This draws a connection to the erasure of Native American culture in history, they are seen as rare and different from the ordinary, and for some people their existence is completely forgotten or denied. His own comments of not belonging at a white school, because of his nationality and family history further show the division of race that he can see at Reardan. Junior’s cursing accentuates how frustrated and pathetic he feels, viewed as less than everyone at his school, and constantly rejected and isolated by his white peers. The negative, demeaning mindset of those white kids is that Native Americans do not deserve anything from white people, not their time, attention, care, or even a proficient education. According to Jens Manuel Krogstad at Pew Research Center, Native Americans have the second highest high school dropout rate- eleven percent. This is very high, especially when compared to the white or Asian dropout rates- five and three percent, respectively. Additionally, it says Native Americans have the second lowest percentage of bachelor’s degrees, only seventeen percent, compared to the two highest, white and Asian, at thirty three and fifty percent (Krogstad). Many Native Americans today are not allowed a chance at education because of poverty at reservations, and lousy, penniless schools. These issues are not thought about or spoken of often, because they are simply not
She attempts to shrug off her eating disorder in the same way his dad laughs off his alcoholism. He knows and understands the emptiness of addiction and self-harm. He understands the pain she is trying to swallow and can empathize with her situation. She is attractive to him because she represents the disappointing aspects of himself; the loneliness, the sadness, the desperation and the need to prove to herself that she is capable. However, Arnold’s fascination is not only about the parallelism between their personalities but also about the internalization of one another’s skin color. He put emphasis on the fact that she is "all white on white on white, like the most perfect kind of vanilla dessert cake you've ever seen" (114). It’s interesting because Rowdy also states that Arnold is being the stereotypical Indian who treats a white woman like a trophy. (115). His friend Gordy even criticizes Arnold for admiring Penelope for the idea of her as a white woman instead of who she actually is. Though he is undeniably realistic and logical, his initial attraction to Penelope is more about how he wants to see himself within the world rather than a legitimate