Sherman Alexie

1943 Words8 Pages
14-year-old Arnold Spirit Jr, or “Junior”, the main character in Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” grew up on a Spokane Indian reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. Born with “water on his brain”, Junior was often teased and beaten up for the disabilities that his unfortunate beginning left him with. Because of his increased cerebrospinal fluid, Junior was left with a skinny body, a big head, hands, and feet, seizures, and speech problems. However, Junior was able to find protection from his tough kid best-friend, Rowdy. On their first day of high-school, Mr. P -the geometry teacher- handed out textbooks to all of the students. When Junior opened the front cover, he was shocked to find his mothers name. Junior…show more content…
And I was going to be his secret weapon. I was going to be his Weapon of Mass Destruction. (Page 142) Later on, Junior starts to think more about the differences that he sees between the Indians on the reservation, and the white kids at Rearden. He says, “I’ve learned that the worst thing a parent can do is ignore their children. And trust me, there are plenty of Rearden kids who get ignored by their parents.” This is an unusual thing for Junior because he is used to everyone knowing everyone, and everyone being important. Ignoring a child is a foreign concept to him. On the rez, you know every kid’s father, mother, grandparents, dog, cat, and shoe size. I mean, yeah, Indian kids are screwed up, but we’re really close to each other. We KNOW each other. Everybody knows everybody. (Page 153) In white culture, it is a normal and accepted thing for parents to have lives outside of their families. This can be demonstrated through the parents being consumed by their work-life, relationships with friends, or any other activities that they enjoy. It is never viewed as a bad thing unless the children are being neglected to the point of causing emotional distress or damage. The culture that Junior is used to is one that values family to a very high extent, and includes everyone as family- blood or
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