The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Spodaj si lahko na kratko preberete o sami knjigi, pod besedilom pa boste najdli dve povezavi, kjer je nekoliko več gradiva. Čisto na koncu pa so še teme za sestavek.

 

1. INTRODUCTION
When Junior throws his geometry book at his teacher, little does he know the chain of events that are to follow. On Mr P’s advice he decides to leave the Spokane reservation and its problems with poverty, domestic violence and alcoholism, and find the school with
the most hope; the rich, white school in Reardan.
In between telling his best friend Rowdy (and being punched hard in the face for his troubles), Junior must avoid the ire of the community and somehow find a way to travel twenty-two miles each day. That’s even before he gets to the school and faces isolation, racist taunts, insensitive teachers and the small issue of how to get back home again. Junior is an incredibly likeable character and you cannot help but be drawn into his world, cheering him on and admiring his tenacious spirit. He develop friendships with the most unlikely people and eventually realises that being a Spokane Indian does not mean he cannot be part of other tribes as well.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a very enjoyable and authentic comingof-age story. The fresh and engaging writing style, alongside the often irreverent humour make this a book that is sure to appeal to young people.

2. NOTES ON GENRE, STRUCTURE AND STYLE
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is a coming-of-age story written in first person narrative from the perspective of fourteen-year-old Arnold Spirit Jr, better known as Junior. As the title suggests, the narrative has a confessional quality, as Junior reveals his
feelings to the reader through the use of verbal and visual language. The style is humorous and often irreverent, as Junior is at times unflinchingly honest about his emotions and experiences. Though this may be uncomfortable for the reader at times, such as when
Junior learns of his sister’s death and is concerned because, ‘Yep, I had a big erection when I learned of my sister’s death’ (p. 202), it is this quality that helps makes the voice of the protagonist so authentic. The ongoing action of the novel is combined with an
exploration of Junior’s emotions and feelings. Of note is the unique structure of the novel. Interspersed within the narrative are pictures;
cartoons that Junior draws because ‘words are too limited’. (p. 5) It is an engaging and effective technique that could lead to interesting discussions about visual imagery in the classroom, particularly about how the cartoons assist the readers’ understanding of the text. The often irreverent and black humour expressed in the cartoons develops the character of Junior more than would be possible with text alone. Further, the use of cartoons has a thematic link to the poverty experienced by Junior and his community. He draws because he ‘want[s] the world to pay attention to [him]’ (p. 6) and he knows that drawing is the ‘only way [he] can become rich and famous’. (p. 6) Junior acknowledges that being rich and famous ‘might be [his] only real chance to escape the reservation.’ (p. 6) Therefore, the visual imagery has an added poignancy to it, illustrating both Junior’s
emotions and feelings, alongside his desire to make something of his life. The chapters are quite short and the dialogue is snappy and realistic, creating an authentic voice for each of the characters. The protagonist is funny and surprisingly matter-of-fact about his life. Though his story is often sad, he does not invite the reader to
feel sympathy for him, instead forcing admiration for his undeniable spirit.

  1. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/the-absolutely-true-diary-of-a-part-time-indian/

2.  https://www.shmoop.com/absolutely-true-diary-part-time-indian/

3.  ESSAY TOPICS

 Write an essay on one of the following topics.

  1. ‘Most crucial to Junior’s success in Reardan is his personal courage and spirit.’  Do you agree?
  2. To what extent do the people around Junior support and encourage him?
  3. ‘It is Junior’s drawings more than his words that depict his emotions and feelings.’  Do you agree?
  4. ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is about the search for personal and cultural identity.’  Do you agree?
  5. To what extent is the novel about overcoming racism and adversity?
  6. ‘Before Junior can succeed he must first learn to believe in himself.’ Do you agree?
  7. ‘Even worse than the crippling poverty that Junior experiences is his low-self esteem in himself and his culture.’ Discuss.
  8. What does Junior learn during the novel?
  9. What does Junior teach the people around him?

 

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