Theft Outright And The Absolutely True Diary Of A Native American

1996 Words8 Pages
The poem, “The Theft Outright” by Heid E. Erdrich, a Native American poet, refutes claims made in another poem, “The Gift Outright” by Robert Frost, that America was empty before the colonists. In his poem, Frost claims that America was “unstoried, artless, [and] unenhanced,”(Frost 15) demonstrating blatant racism by erasing the entire Native American culture and race from American history. Erdrich counters his beliefs by citing the colorful, full lives of Indians in the past and now, directly juxtaposing his work by saying that the Americas are “still storied, art-filled, [and] fully enhanced”(Erdrich 30) from the Native Americans that lived there. Similarly, the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie deals with racism. It tells the story of Arnold Spirit Jr, a Native American boy who wants a better life, so he switches schools from his poverty stricken school to an all white school in a small town called Reardan. Junior frequently faces challenges of racism; he is seen as less than his white peers at his new school because he is Indian, and he is constantly being shown by others’ words and actions that he does not deserve a quality education because of his heritage. Despite the novel’s humorous style, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” provides accurate commentary on education and racism in recent times through Junior’s experiences at Reardan, with his developing friendship with Gordy, his views on the pedestals that white

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