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The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Essay

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 “I’m never going to act like my mother!” These words are increasingly common and yet unavoidable. Why is it that as children, we are able to point out every flaw in our parents, but as we grow up, we recognize that we are repeating the same mistakes we observed? The answer is generational curses: un-cleansed iniquities that increase in strength from one generation to the next, affecting the members of that family and all who come into relationship with that family (Hickey 13). Marilyn Hickey, a Christian author, explains how this biblically rooted cycle is never ending when she says, “Each generation adds to the overall iniquity, further weakening the resistance of the next generation to sin” (21, 22). In other words, if your parents mess up you are now susceptible to making the same mistakes, and are most likely going to pass those mistakes to your children. In The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie shows the beauty of hope in the presence of a generational curse. Even though the elders are the ones who produce the curses, they are also the ones who attempt to break Junior from their bond forming mistakes. The curses that Arnold’s elders imprint on him lead him to break out of his cultural bonds and improve himself as a developing young man.
Mr. P bestows the curse of hopelessness to Arnold, which inspires him to break free from the bonds of his ancestors. Even though his students see him as worthless, Mr. P is humble, poor, hurt by the ones he is trying to save, an educator, and merciful, which leads to the betterment of Junior. Going back to biblical references, the readers can see that these adjectives also line up perfectly with the personality of Jesus: the higher power capable of breaking generation...


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As Mr. P, Grandma, and Mary share a small piece of their lives with Arnold, they show him how hopelessness, insecurity, and disregard to curses can make people's lives miserable. Even though everyone in society recognizes this, they cannot break free because they do not have the opportunity of a higher power to break them from their generational curses. As Junior observes all of this, he decides to be the one who breaks free by using the hardships of the curses presented to him as a motivation. He is a symbol of hope in the midst of a generational curse.



Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007. Print.
Hickey, Marilyn. Breaking Generational Curses. Tulsa: Harrison House, Inc., 2000. Print.
Moore, Beth. So Long Insecurity. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2010. Print.



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