The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Bastard out of Carolina

1548 Words 7 Pages
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, tell stories about troubled adolescents and their desire to live a life more meaningful than the one society had predetermined for them. On the surface, Junior and Bone seem very different but when they are analyzed through the themes of discrimination, poverty, and friendship, these two protagonists become reflections of each other. This paper will compare the struggles faced by the characters and the effects of social inequality on their lives. The struggle to rise above the opinions of others was one of the major problems both Junior and Bone fought to overcome. In the case of Junior, racial discrimination was a constant …show more content…
62). Many of the people on Junior's reservation have given up on the idea that an Indian can become successful without assimilating to white culture. By becoming white, these successful Indians will, as a result, renounce their culture as well as their people. If this is the case, no true Indian can ever be successful. Bone faces the same dilemma of feeling trapped in a mold that society has unfairly fit for her. The label "white trash," negatively affects her in almost every aspect of life, it causes people to look at her as though she is worthless. Rothman (2005) states, "the phrase poor white trash was used to identify the rural poor as promiscuous, lazy, violent, alcoholic, ignorant, and mentally defective." (p. 128). Much like Junior, no one anticipates Bone to accomplish anything out of the ordinary. She mentions that she gets very good grades and that she is constantly at the top of her class but not once does anyone comment on how well she does or mention anything about college. Belonging to the lower class, Bone and the rest of her family are not expected to attend college, despite the fact that they may be a good student. In terms of college, the power of the upper class over the lower class is clearly visible. Rothman (2005) defines power as "the ability to control events or to determine the behavior of others in the face of resistance" (p. 4). Higher education is a privilege that the lower class seldom experiences

Related Documents