“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

Being a representative of a racial minority in America is quite hard. You get to experience bullying because of something that you cannot change, something that you have been born with. However, life gets even harder when you are an Indian child with some illnesses. This is what Sherman Alexie tells us in his book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” The story tells the readers about the 14-year-old Native American teenager, Junior, who described himself as “goofy on the outside, but it was the inside stuff that was the worst.” (Alexie, 2007, p. 4)

Due to the book is written in a diary style, we get to experience all of the events, which Junior tells us about along with him. Right from the beginning, we find out that Junior and his family are poor. “Do you know the worst thing about being poor?” (Alexie, 2007, p. 7) Even though the book has a funny style of telling and is a quite easy read, you feel that the author is not joking, when he tells about such things. The real events that are very tough are hidden behind the sentences that include a humorous note. Sherman Alexie describes what Junior feels when he finally gets to eat some chicken, that he likes so much. “There is nothing better than a chicken leg when you haven’t eaten for (approximately) eighteen-and-a-half hours.” (Alexie, 2007, p. 7) Another touching event is described that is directly connected to the family’s poverty is the traumatizing death of the Junior’s best friend, pet Oscar. The dog was suffering from an illness, but the family did not have any money to get him to the hospital. Thus, the father suggested shooting Oscar to relieve his pain.

What is more, the poverty is vaguely described in Junior’s relationship with his favorite pet. “Oscar was a better person than any human I had ever known.” (Alexie, 2007, p. 8) The sentence makes sense, as the low-income families rarely have time to spend with each other because all of its members dedicate all their time to figure out how to make money to survive. “Poverty doesn’t give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor.” (Alexie, 2007, p. 12)

Through the diary of the young Indian boy, we find out the way that his whole family deals with poverty. “It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor.” (Alexie, 2007, p. 12) While we read about the way that Junior does not want to let go of his best friend, the boy also tells us about the dreams of his parents. Junior’s family was always poor, as he tells us, his parents “came from poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people, all the way back to the very first poor people.” (Alexie, 2007, p. 12) Because of that, his parents, and his sister never got to realize his dreams. Via the diary, we find out Junior’s mother wanted to be a teacher, in fact, she still reads books and has a very fast memory. While his father always wanted to be a musician, and he sings very well when he gets drunk. In Junior’s talk with his teacher, we find out that his older sister has given up her dream to be a writer, also because they were poor.

“I suppose my sister is depressed. I suppose the whole family is depressed.” (Alexie, 2007, 33) With these words, Junior describes the way that his relatives feel about poverty.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]
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