The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian By Sherman Alexie

1922 Words8 Pages
In 2007, the award-winning novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, was written and published by successful screenwriter, film producer, and author, Sherman Alexie; the novel follows the journey of hydrocephalic Native American teenager Arnold Spirit Jr, as he attends an all-white off-reservation public high school in the town of Reardan, Washington. The story’s exploration of controversial issues such as alcoholism, poverty, bullying, violence, as well as the use of profanity and slurs compels its audience to consider the horrifying reality of the native American experience in contemporary society and authentically examines Arnold’s personal struggle to discover his identity. The novel expertly explores important overarching themes such as poverty, racism, and hope through the use of imagery, symbolism, and setting. Throughout the novel, Alexie addresses the underlying theme of poverty by highlighting the extreme class differences between the story 's two main settings: the Pacific Northwest towns of Wellpinit and Reardan. The contrasting locations of a severely impoverished native American reservation and the affluent white community surrounding it are key factors in the development of Arnold’s identity; he attempts to escape the toxic culture of depression, defeat, and hopelessness on the reservation by abandoning the poverty of his hometown and attending a white school which, upon first glance, seems full of optimism and opportunity. Arnold
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