The True Diary Of A Part Time Indian By Sherman Alexie

965 Words4 Pages
The Absolute Symbolism in The Absolutely True Diary Symbolism helps bring meaning and emotion into a story. Symbolism is also used to bring about a deeper understanding of the underlying themes in a story. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is riddled with symbols throughout the novel. Brilliantly, Sherman Alexie uses symbols all through this novel as a way of conveying abstract themes such as identity crisis, poverty, and mortality. These symbols are an important part of the novel because they are able to give a deeper meaning to the plot and the action of the story beyond what is actually depicted. The novel follows Arnold, a Native American teenager as he risks leaving the native reserve so he can go to high school in a neighboring town. Arnold faces discrimination, bullying, and the loss of his home by taking this step towards a better future. On page 85 of the novel, Arnold, the protagonist, explains to his geology teacher how petrified wood is formed. Petrified wood is formed when a piece of wood has been buried under dirt for a period of time and the minerals from the dirt begin to soak into the wood, melting away the wood itself until there is no wood left. The minerals then manage to hold the shape of the wood by clinging together like glue. “The rocks have replaced the wood,” Arnold explains. This petrified wood is a symbol of what Arnold’s tribe fears will happen to him. They are concerned that if he, as an Indian, is absorbed into an all-white
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