What We Could Learn From The Book “The Absolutely True Diary Of a Part Time Indian”

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I have in paste month or so read a very interesting and inspiring book called “the absolute true diary of a part-time Indian”. This astonishing book is written by Sherman Alexie, and it’s about an Indian boy, named Arnold Spirit Junior who searches for hope and an improved life outside his reservation. Junior has to cope with hate from his new classmates, and even from his own tribe. In this essay I’m going to explain, give examples and write about what we all can learn from this novel. Namely to never give up, to dream big and always be yourself, no matter what.

The absolutely true diary of a part time indian is disliked by many people, mostely teachers, around the world because of it´s cultural insensitivity, alcohol use, offensive language, sexual content and violence. I cen see why some people dislike it, they don´t want their children and teens to start swearing, doing drugs or judge people by their culture. However this book can teach every single one of us extremely valuable lessons, to never give up, dream big and always, always be yourself. Don't allow others to change who you are. You are being judged regardless of what you do or say, so being yourself makes happiness easier to obtain. So live life on your terms, not someone else's. Being yourself is the most important thing in your life, because if you aren´t yourself, you will never be happy.

The novel follows Junior, an American Indian living on the Spokane Indian reservation, through his daily life when he transfers from the dilapidated reservation school to the all-white school 22 miles away in Reardon. Junior, who was born with hydrocephalus, has many physical defects such as a lisp, a stutter, bad eyesight and seizures. Because of this, he is bullied by most of the people on his reservation. Aside from this, he is forced to deal with an alcoholic mother and father and racism from both teachers and students at his new school, where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

The book deals with many important issues, especially for midd/high schollers, such as bullying, feeling like an outcast and finding a place in the world. Beyond that, it discusses relevant issues such as racism, alcoholism and the deaths of loved ones. Although the topics can be heavy at times, Alexie presents the topics realistically and appropriately for the intended age group.

Alexie, who wrote the book partially based on her own experiences growing up on a reservation. Though the issues in themselves may be considered offensive to some people, it is important that students learn difficult topics such as these in a comfortable setting such as a classroom so they will be informed critical thinkers when they go off into the world. This book is an invaluable teaching tool to prepare students for the hardships they will inevitably face in their lives, not only promoting the importance of perseverance, but also making students think about how they would handle difficult situations. Junior makes an excellent role model for students because of his continual determination to overcome the obstacles in his life.

Over the course of his story, Junior grows as a person, a transformation that is fueled by the conflicts and hardships he is constantly facing. In some ways, he is just like any ordinary teenager, facing problems such as crushes and friend drama; dealing with these issues makes the book especially relatable for many students, as Junior goes through many of the problems that teenagers face on a daily basis.

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One of the major conflicts in the novel is between Junior and his best friend, Rowdy. Their friendship goes through ups and downs, ultimately promoting the message that friendships are invaluable through both the good and the bad. The story also explores the relationships between Junior and his parents, Junior and his grandma and Junior and his sister, ultimately emphasizing the importance and strength of family despite struggles.

Like many students, Junior has trouble embracing himself, hiding many aspects of his life from his classmates. However, even when times are hard, Junior continues to push through his problems, a valuable skill for anyone to be taught.

Beyond that, Junior faces more intense hardships such as racism and crippling poverty, providing a valuable level of exposure to problems that reside beyond the horizons of suburban life.

Both Junior’s mother and father have a drinking problem; aside from them, alcoholism is prevalent on the reservation, with countless Indians turning to alcohol to deal with their problems. Many people in Junior’s life die because of this — another issue Junior is forced to deal with. The book teaches both the repercussions of alcoholism as well as ways different individuals handle grief.

Additionally, Junior’s family is so poor that oftentimes his dad does not have enough gas to drive him to school; some days Junior walks the entire 22 miles, but most of the time he hitchhikes to and from school. Despite this challenge, Junior still tries his hardest in school, and he still strives to be a normal teenager.

It is true that this book deals with harsh subject matter, and it is true that it contains what some people consider to be mature content. However, it deals with issues in an approachable way through the voice of someone who is highly relatable to teenagers. It is imperative that students learn about uncomfortable topics, and this novel presents these problems in ways that teenagers will actually understand.

Unlike many of the massive tomes written by long-dead white men hundreds of years ago that students read in their classes, this book is actually relatable. Junior’s voice is that of a teenager, so with it comes swearing, slang and hyperbole, but this is how most teenagers talk. Profanity does not erase the book’s literary merit; in fact, in many cases it creates humor that compels students to keep reading.

The use of comics and drawings throughout the book create interest and help further the impact of the story. Junior loves to draw comics, so he draws to help him get through the hard times. These often make fun of his situation, which is another valuable tool used by the author to discuss the importance of perseverance.

Although disputed, this book is a highly valuable teaching tool that every student should read before graduation. Because it presents its topics in a modern voice, it is appealing and applicable to students, becoming an effective way to teach many valuable themes.

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What We Could Learn From The Book “The Absolutely True Diary Of a Part Time Indian”. (2022, December 08). WritingBros. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/what-we-could-learn-from-the-book-the-absolutely-true-diary-of-a-part-time-indian/
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