The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian Analysis

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Junior the Anti-hero Imagine growing up on an Indian Reservation and feeling there is little hope for the future because of a culture of poverty and alcoholism that is a part of everyday life. This is what Junior is facing in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. He does not see much of a future for himself living on the Reservation. Junior does not come across as a lead character who is heroic because he paints himself as someone who is weak and pathetic with few opportunities in his life, calling himself a “poor-ass reservation kid living with his poor-ass family on the poor-ass Spokane Indian Reservation” (Alexie 7). Susan Nami, in her article, Anti-Hero: Definition, Examples & Characteristics, defines an …show more content…
For instance, he says he became “something less than an Indian” (83). However Junior preserves in his decision, after a while he begins to see that he’s pretty smart. He makes friends with a smart kid, in Junior’s words, “Gordy the Genius White Boy” (91). Gordy’s friendship offers him new insights in life. For example, Gordy tells him, “The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don’t know” (97). Junior also joins the basketball team and becomes a valuable member of the team, and he glows with the validation he receives. These experiences push him to do better and try harder. Junior specifically mentions how something magical happened to him in Reardan. “They need me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good.” (180). And yet, we see him as that Anti-hero as he mocks his ex-best friend Rowdy when he triumphs over him in a basketball game. Later we see his inner conflict and shame for enjoy that moment so much. In fact he draws a cartoon showing his conflict of a dual identity: is he a villain or a hero (182). He states, “my white fans were going to cheer for me like I was some kind of crusading warrior”, yet, “I felt like one of those Indian scouts who led the U.S. Cavalry against other Indians” (182). However in the end, in true Anti-hero style; Junior shares that he wasn’t playing for anyone else but to just beat Rowdy for …show more content…
Despite his human flaws, setbacks in life, and a culture of poverty and hopelessness; Junior pushes himself through these obstacles and finds that just a spark of hope can become a life changing moment. Because Junior saw the world in a different way, he wasn’t willing to accept his circumstances, and fought for a better life. His weaknesses and differences in the eyes of the Indian culture became his strengths, and helped him cope with the choice he made to switch schools. He didn’t fit in to his own life on the Reservation, and was considered a traitor when he choose to change his life. The fact that he was already use to being looked at as different helped him stick it out at the “white” High School, and prejudice at the beginning. His struggles and insecurities hopefully helps the readers to look at life and examine it a new way. One of the statements Junior makes early on in the book is when he’s sharing his dream of becoming a Cartoonist, “I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are my tiny little lifeboats” (6). This line is so insightful, it’s so human. It’s so Anti-hero. Most people have broken dams and floods in their lives. Hopefully readers also will be inspired to find the right choices to make in life and pursue them in the face of personal defects and flaws, opening up new doors of possibilities and letting go of preconceived prejudice.

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