A character study of Junior.
Arnold Spirit Junior – is a main character of the story of Sherman Alexie The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The character, which the author introduces us to, is most probably built up on his true experiences of growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation in Wellpinit. Junior is a fourteen- year old teenager, who is a naturally born artist, a talented, hysterically funny and open- minded, smart, brave young man, yet super unsecured. Having been born with numerous medical problems; he’s been a hydrocephalic with a stutter and a lisp. These make his life hard. As we know kids can be very cruel, he’s been beaten up all the time and is treated as an outcast in the reservation. The way he deals with his challenges is a true example of courage. The central point of the story is Arnold Spirits brave act of making the wisest conscious adult decision to change schools and attend the affluent white school 22 miles away from the reservation , where he still lives. He intuitively knows that this decision will change his whole life as well as he intuitively knows, that he will be facing some serious problems, and he is very scared. In spite of fear, Junior sticks with his decision. A young man goes through some difficult circumstances with a permanent uncomfortable feeling of belonging nowhere. It is fascinating to follow page by page this process of a brand new identity been born. Eventually he comes to Guenther 2
realization; he shouldn’t see himself just as an Indian, but rather as a person from many different tribes. Experiencing one of these sorts of moments of clarity, Junior says,” I use to think the world was broken down by tribes…By black and white. By Indians and white. But I know that isn’t true. The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are assholes and the people who are not” (176). I couldn’t agree more. This, not very mildly but surely he integrates himself into the bigger world, where he feels one...
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