The True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In Search of Goal Do you think looking forward and trying to change a bad situation into a good one for having a better life is a wrong decision? The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is a novel written by Sherman Alexie. The novel is about Arnold Spirit; everyone calls him Junior. He is a teenage boy with a tough life who lives with his family in poverty on a Spokane Indian reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. He hates living in poverty and wants something better for himself. “I feel like I might grow up to be somebody important.
An artist”(6) he claims. His living conditions are horrible; he studies in a school with a lack of resources. He considered the different aspects of moving to Reardan, he struggled about leaving the Rez. In the end Junior decided to leave the Rez and make a better life for himself. He must go somewhere else, somewhere that people have hope. In order to get a decent education he made the difficult decision to transfer to the privileged white school in the town of Reardan. Leaving the Rez for a better life had a negative impact on Junior’s relationship with Rowdy.
Junior and Rowdy were friends for a long time. “He is my best human friend and he cares about me” (16), “Rowdy has protected me since we were born” (17). Rowdy was the most important person in Junior’s life. By leaving the Rez, Junior lost his friend. When Junior told Rowdy about leaving the Rez he got mad, he hauls off and punched Junior in the face and told him, “Don’t touch me, you retarded fag” (52). Rowdy was angry with Junior; he thought Junior betrayed him by making this decision.

Junior was upset about what happened he felt guilty that their relationship was ruined. “I knew that my best friend had become my worst enemy”(53). In sum, Junior lost his best friend Rowdy because of the decision that he made for a better life. In addition to losing his old friend making new friends at Reardan was hard and slow. When Junior arrived in Reardan he was scared. He didn’t know what was going to happen with the other students. He was wondering what he was doing in a racist white school. Did you know that Indians are living proof that niggers fuck buffalo? I felt that Roger had kicked me in the face. That was the most racist thing I ‘d ever heard in my life” (64) He tried to protect himself when he hit Roger, and he didn’t understand why Roger didn’t try to hit him back. He was scared about the decision that he made. Arnold was the center of attention and this feeling made him uncomfortable, “They stared at me like I was Bigfoot or a UFO” (56). Most of the students rejected him, they called him names like “Chief” “Squaw Boy” “Tonto”… (64).
It was the loneliest time of his life; “ I just walked from class to class alone; I sat at launch alone; during PE I stood in the corner of the gym and played catch with myself” (83). He thought that he could make friends, but Reardan students didn’t want him in their school. He felt really lonely. As a result, Arnold was lost because everything in Reardan was different from the Rez; he knew that it would be hard for him to find his place in the racist school of Reardan. Although he had a lot of external problems with his new life style in Reardan, it was nothing compared to the internal conflict he suffered.
Toward the end of the novel Junior was faced with an abundance of death among his family and friends. After the death of his grandmother, sister and his father’s best friend he was sad, and felt that all the bad things that happened to his friend and family were his fault. As a result he felt helpless and stupid: “I was mad at God” (171). “I was so depressed that I thought about dropping out of Reardan. I thought about going back to Wellpinit. I blamed myself for all of the death. I had cursed my family.
I had left the tribe, and had broken something inside all of us, and I was now being punished for that” (173). He carried the guilt of his sister’s death; “I had killed my sister. Well, I hadn’t killed her. But she only got married so quickly and left the Rez because I had left the Rez first. She had burned to death because I had decided that I wanted to spend my life with white people. It was all my fault” (211). He took on the burden of responsibility for the death of his sister; she was killed in an accident when she was drunk; what happened to her wasn’t Junior’s fault.
As result, he was terrified of losing his father, “Please God, please don’t kill my daddy” (203). Then Junior got some guidance from his father and some words of encouragement from his mother, and Junior began to understand that he made the change in his life for the better. Junior wasn’t the reason her sister died, but he had inspired her to follow her dreams as well. The upshot of all this is that, Junior’s decision about leaving the Rez and moving to Reardan for a better education was tough.
He faced lot of problems; he felt lonely because of losing his best friend, and afraid of death of his tribe and family. Although he suffered from the entire bad things that happened to him, it was the best decision that he had made for his life. “I realized that I might be a lonely Indian boy, but I was not alone in my loneliness. There were millions of other Americans who had left their birthplaces in search of a dream” (217). Work cited Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, 2009. Print.

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