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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Essay example

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In my view, intolerance is the unfair act of being treated unjustly by others. This closed-minded action is one that is unfortunately an increasing problem in today’s society for many different reasons. Intolerance is the greatest issue we face regarding discrimination and racism among others, increasing the tension and conflict between people. One example of Junior, also known as Arnold, experiencing intolerance is when he is made fun of by his peers on his reservation in Wellpinit for having a lisp and eye abnormalities. Junior cannot help that he was born with these physical defects and has no control over the fact that he has to live with them. In Reardan, Junior is picked on the antagonist, Roger that creates even more of a struggle for the “part-time Indian”. I believe that the most damaging forms of intolerance for Junior are in Reardan for multiple reasons. For example, when attending school in Reardan, Junior explains the following, “…People had either ignored me or called me names or pushed me. But they stopped after my grandmother died,” (Alexie 159). This part of the story made me wonder, why would it take the death of someone to show that discrimination is such a socially inappropriate gesture to bring upon another person? Wellpinit holds the largest amount of trouble for Junior because his peers discriminate against him racially and physically which are both serious issues. Another example of intolerance for Junior is when he tells his parents that he wants to switch schools, “’Come on, I said. ‘Who has the most hope?’ ‘White people," my parents said at the same time.’” (Alexie 45). This shows clear discrimination between the two races, and an unfortunate viewpoint in the eyes of Junior’s parents. It is almost as if ...


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...vides a stable offer of advice to his adolescent student. What Mr. P presents Junior with is the same “mentor” qualities that all mentors provide for their mentees. And by no means does Mr. P “go easy” on Junior for his actions; he wants him to be built tough and strong because he knows that Junior is perfectly capable of reaching those capacities. For instance, Mr. P says to Junior, “’But I do forgive you,’ he said. ‘No matter how much I don’t want to. I have to forgive you,’” (Alexie 28). This demonstrates the amount of maturity that Mr. P wants to exhibit to Junior, in hopes of earning more respect from him. I believe that Mr. P provides the strongest sense of a mentor, beside Grandma Spirit, in this story because he pushes Junior to strive for greatness no matter what.



Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. 2007. Print.


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