T09 PTI Check in #1


In Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian the main character Junior faces many conflicts. As apart of living on a reservation, he has conflicts with poverty, his disabilities, social acceptance, his family, his friendships but most importantly the expectations and stereotypes that are set for him as a Spokane First Nations. The outside world views the Spokane reservation as poor and hopeless. On the reservation there is little external interaction but when Junior attends the prestigious white school Reardan, the stereotypes take serious effect. Junior is seen as dumb, ugly, worthless and is a subject of constant racism. This is shown best by Penelope’s dad Earl, who does not approve of her relationship with Junior; “Kid, if you get my daughter pregnant, if you make some charcoal babies, I’m going to disown her”(109). On the reservation Junior is constantly facing a sheer wall of hopelessness. Everyone expects him to accomplish nothing and to live out the rest of his life in poverty. To succeed, Junior must break through these expectations set by everyone around him. This is his largest conflict. It is one struggle to live in poverty but choosing to challenge your place in life and choosing to abandon your heritage in search of a better path, is a much harder fight. He can choose to stay and accept his fate or to fight and “find more and more hope the [further] and [further] [he] [walks] away from [the] sad, sad, sad reservation” (43).


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