Absolutely True Diary

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007) by Sherman Alexie is a fictionalised journal written by an Indian boy named Junior. The story is told from his first person point of view as the novel is written in the form of a personal diary. It explores how Junior struggles with assimilating into a ‘white’ American culture after fleeing an Indian reservation to reach his full potential to improve his life. This story has been made for dual readers which include both Indigenous and European cultures as it is written in casual English language for both implied readers to understand clearly. The passage (Alexie 2007, pp. 189-191) that is set towards the end of the novel, intermingles with the whole text as it shows that Junior was resilient…show more content…
Junior transferred from Wellpinit to Rearden High School as he believed that he could achieve a brighter future for himself there because ‘white’ Americans had “the most access to systems of education” ( WHY R C G STILL MATTERS). Junior finds himself living with the feeling that he had betrayed his family by transferring to a ‘white’ school, however, Junior knew that realistically, staying on the ‘rez’ would not give him any opportunities for a better life. The problem for Junior when he transferred was the assimilation into a new, ‘white’, wealthy school. Being identified with as a different culture that was not European made Junior stand out which created a lot of racist issues for him such as having to tolerate the racist jokes made by his classmates, some of his teachers and his crush Penelope’s father who threatens junior about impregnating Penelope and "making some charcoal babies" (page 108). The racism Junior faces at Rearden makes him feel uncomfortable, alienated, and that he doesn't fit into either the Indian reservation or Rearden High School, reflecting the title "Part-Time Indian”. When Junior is trying to find his place in a European society, it determines that European people do have more power over native cultures such as Indians, as Junior mentions that racist discrimination has damaged Indians’ sense of confidence in the world. Junior comes to realise that…show more content…
Throughout Junior’s personal diary, he openly talks about his life with his family on the reservation and despite the gloomy descriptions, Junior manages to cover the misery with his honest humour, which also engages the implied readers with Junior’s personality. Junior explains his journey as he transfers from a Native American society to a European society. The novel shows that Junior doesn’t give up on what he believes in and wants the best for himself by transferring to Rearden. There are many passive messages about different races, socioeconomic statuses and genders. When Junior first meets Penelope, he doesn’t realise until later in the novel that they share life difficulties, and he realises that there is more to her than just her appearance. This shows that despite she is from the European, more dominant culture, they are both able to endeavour problems and she is not from a perfect world like Junior assumes. Through Junior transferring from his Native American culture to a ‘white’ American culture, it shows him that he still needs to be a part of his true, Indian culture but balance it with his new European culture which will benefit his life for the
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