Examples Of Alcoholism In The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian

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The Truth behind the Stereotypes
In 2010, a five hundred million dollar lawsuit was filed by the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Whiteclay, Nebraska against several major beer companies and four local stores. Whiteclay is a small town of 14 people that is home to 4 stores which have sold nearly 5 million bottles of beer averaging 13,000 bottles per day. On the Reservation itself, one in four children suffer birth defects due to alcohol, and eighty percent of the population is unemployed. One in ten deaths is reported to be from alcohol directly and two thirds of those deaths were from people under fifty. Even more astounding is that over half of the residents live below the poverty line or $1.25 a day. In The Absolutely True Diary of a
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The most common theme throughout the book is the use of alcohol and alcoholism among Native Americans. The use of alcohol in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, shows its inappropriate role in Native American society. Junior’s writing after his sister’s death exemplifies this when he says that he, “Knew everybody would tell stories about Mary… and the whole time, everybody would be drinking booze and getting drunk and stupid and sad and mean” (pages 211-212). Alcohol has taken Junior’s sister from him, but in the process it reveals the truth of the stereotype of alcoholic Native Americans. Alcohol is used in a nonchalant manner and becomes normal to Native Americans. This happens so much that it becomes a way to deal with sufferings in life. Even when mourning a death of a loved one, who died due to alcohol, their society accepts that alcohol is a tool for grief and is commonplace in their everyday life. Furthermore, this stereotype is very dangerous for the Native American people as a whole and for the integrity of their culture. In the book, alcohol has been assimilated into Native American culture and this widespread use is only adding fuel, and even truth, to the

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