Absolutely True Diary
When things are very bad around us to hope motivates us to keep going. In the book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, written by Sherman Alexie shows how hope can motivate someone to make a better life for themselves. Arnold, the novel’s main character, a 14-year old teenager who grows up on the Spokane reservation has to face many obstacles, for example, reservation, bullying, alcoholism, poverty, and violence. This is why Arnold’s main goal in this book is to escape the reservation. He has a strong desire to educate himself because he wants to take a different path than most of the people in his community. He knows that staying on the reservation would not give him any opportunities because people have very low expectations. Yet, hope is complicated for Arnold’s because he believes that living on the reservation makes Indians lose hope because they do not get any opportunities to achieve their dreams. Arnold believes that hope is lost and that this is a part of what it means to live on the reservation and be Indians.
Arnold sees achieving his hopes and dreams as lost opportunities because he knows that his mother and father had dreams when they were little kids and their dreams did not come true.He explains that they “dreamed of being something other than poor, but they never got the chance to be anything because nobody paid attention to their dreams” (11). However, the issue is that nobody ever supported or pushed them to choose a different path. His sister Mary had a dream to write romantic novel books but she starts living in her parent’s basement and stops fighting for her dreams. Suddenly, when Arnold's decides to attend Reardan then Marry marries an Indian poker player and leaves with him to Montana. They stop achieving their dreams because teachers didn’t care and some of them were racist. Mr. P. is Arnold’s geometry teacher whom Arnold’s throw his book. Instead of getting mad Mr.P gave Arnold’sadvice to leave the reservation in order to get a better education. At the beginning of Sherman Alexie’s novel, The Absolutely True Diary of the Part-Time Indian, and Mr.P. talked to Arnold that “If you stay on this rez,” Mr. P said, “They’re going to kill you. I’m going to kill you. We’re all going to kill you. You can’t fight us forever”(43). This quote proves that Mr.p. really cares about Arnold’s hope and he knows he is not like other people on the reservation, who can not give up. After listening to Mr.P. Arnold makes a decision to attend the Reardan high school he had thought staying in WellPinit wouldn't get him anywhere and going to Reardan would absolutely get him somewhere he would really want to be.
Arnold parents also supports him to succeed even though they do not have anything to give him. WhenArnold tells his parent that he would like to transfer to white school in Reardan because he wants to make a better life for himself. His parents agreed with him. They asked “when do you want to go”(46). Arnold said, It seems like they were waiting for me to request them if I could go to Reardan. However, Arnold’s best friend Rowdy got angry when Arnold told him he is going to the Reardan. Arnold got used to Reardan he started to make new friends such as Penelope, Gordy, and Roger. Gordy is a white kid genius of his class. He teaches Arnold how to read books. “He not only tortured me and challenged me, but he made me realize that hard work that the act of finishing, of completing, of accomplishing a task is joyous. Gordy gives Arnold some ideas about reading and other joys of the learning.
Arnold has a desire to break out the cycle of poverty because he experiences how poverty crushed the hope on a reservation. Sometimes he goes to his bed without eating something. When Arnold’s best friend Oscar was really ill, he wanted to take him to hospital. But his family can not afford. His father shoots the animal because this is the only choice they had. When Arnold lost his best friend he shows great strength going through poverty. Poverty makes everyone alcoholism, the condition that leads to many and many deaths. Poverty also makes Arnold lost his sister Mary and grandmother. However, he does not blame his parents for poverty because he knows that “My 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.”Arnold explains that poverty is not a choice and it is something you born into. He also uses the example how kids born with 10 extra teeth, they have to drag it out all in one day because the “Indian Health Service” pays for dental work only once a year. Moreover, Arnold describes that our white dentist believed that Indians feel half “as much pain as” white people did. So they give us only half of the novocaine. We cannot get anything from poverty,but poverty teaches us how the thing can change.
Basketball is one of the central motifs in the novel and provides a link between Junior’s old world and new life. The first basketball game illustrates the hostility between Junior and his
old school and friends, whereas the second game illustrates Junior’s new-found confidence and hope. One of the most poignant moments of the novel is when Junior's Team wins but then he realises he cannot take any pleasure in the victory. This more than anything highlights the way Junior will always be torn between his two worlds.
Arnold is a Native American who lost his hope when he was living on the reservation. He experiences many obstacles in his life, for example, reservation, poverty, hunger, bullying, alcoholism and hopeless etc. Arnold realizes that he lives and grow up into two different worlds. One world he lived in is all about poverty and sadness. This shows that when you follow your dreams, you can reach it no matter the later obstacles you have to overcome. The other world is one of a happy future. After going to Reardan school Arnold’s realizes that white people are not bad (even if some are racists). Arnold give us a lesson that people should believe in themselves and pursue their dreams. He was able to change his life for the better because he had hope and never gave up. The message of this book, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, says that you should never lose your hope. If you can not give up, You should keep try until you give up.