The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Psychological Evaluation

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Author: Tommy Suriel

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian:
Psychological Evaluation

In Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The main character Arnold “Junior” Spirit goes through a lot of highs and lows psychologically. In the first few chapters of the book, Junior describes how miserable his life was compared to most Indians in the reservation and how in general Indians live a very poor and miserable life compared to people who live outside of the reservation. Later on, when he starts going to a new school outside of the reservation, he goes through a way new experience that makes him see life in a more positive way but also experiences one of the worst times of his life because of how bad life is at the reservation.

While living and going to school in the reservation, the main thing that makes Junior's life very sad and miserable is his health condition. He was born with “water in the brain”(Alexie, 1) which is a condition that requires surgery. After Junior survived his surgery he grew up with a very big head, wearing thick eyeglasses and having a lisp and a stutter which according to him made him "the biggest retard in the world" (Alexie, 36) . Because of these attributes he was usually teased and beaten up by a lot of Indians. A way for him to escape a little from being mistreated that way, was to spend a lot of time in his room writing and drawing. He would draw pictures of his family,friends and dreams because unlike words, pictures can be understood by everyone.

Even though Junior had issues regarding his health, he always was the brightest student in school. Unfortunately, his high school and the reservation were too poor to provide students with updated books and adequate labs. Therefore, this also made Junior feel frustrated and he concluded that “ Poverty doesn't give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor.” (Alexie, 54)....
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