Short Answer Questions Leslie Silko has said that “If we Indians do not ‘represent’ our communities as we see them, then others … will concoct fantasies that pass for the truth. ” What truths does Alexie represent in his novel about Indian communities? The audience discovers there are many truths between the ‘Indian communities’ that Sherman Alexie describes in his novel. One truth is the fact that in American Indian communities, inhabitants feel a loss of culture due to the mainstream items that have been introduced by the Americans when they colonised the land.
These materialistic items have decreased the traditional values that the tribes learn form previous generations. Additionally, the novel can be compared to the life on Indian reservations as it illustrates the loss of identity when mainstream items are brought into the tribe. Moreover, another truth is that there is little or no education that is being taught in the tribal schools that can help the students achieve professional opportunities. Furthermore, there are limited funds to feed the children and the trouble with the reservations life is that the money the people earn is funded into poker machines and other forms of gambling.
This is demonstrated in both Alexie’s novel as well as the reservation lifestyle of Indians today. Junior who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation discovers that alcohol is more important to most residents than education is. This further demonstrates how uneducated the tribal members are, which in turn results in the death of many. Alexie has worked on films of some of his work, including Reservation Blues. Comment on three scenes in the novel relating to the thematic concern of discovery of the new and alien that you think would translate well onto the big screen.
One scene, which relates to the thematic concern of discovery, is the scene where Junior has to play in a basketball competition against Wellpint. At the end of the game, Junior discovers that although he is reaching his goal and his career as a professional basketball player, not many in the Wellpint team actually have aspirations. This is due to limited funding on education and therefore it is not possible for them to achieve their own aspirations. In this scene Junior realises the state that his tribe is in and the negative aspects of reservation lifestyle.
He is also ashamed of the anger and frustrations that he felt earlier in his life. Moreover, another scene that would translate well on the cinematic screen would be the classroom scene after Junior discovers of his uncle’s death. This scene has represented the characteristics of discovery as the audience are shown insight on the way his European classmates defend him although he is not one of them. This is illustrated through “Gordy showed a lot of courage in standing up to a teacher like that. And his courage inspired the others. Subsequently, the scene following this movement would also translate well on the big screen as it exemplifies Juniors personal discovery where he comes to the realisation that the world is not broken down into white and black however it is broken down into the characteristic of the human being. This is conveyed through Juniors proclamation to the teacher, “I used to think the world was broken down by tribes. By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know that isn’t true. The world is only broken down into two tribes. The people who are assholes and the people who are not. Through, this scene the audience is shown the maturation of Junior and how discovering this has affected his future perceptions of others. Finally, these three scenes show insights into Junior’s personal maturation as he discovers himself as well as others. Which character in the novel do you most relate to, and why? The character that I relate to most in the Sherman Alexie’s The absolutely true story of a Part Time Indian is Junior as I have experienced similar things to what he has experienced. These things include the death of a beloved pet and the transfer of schools.
The characteristics of Junior are not comparable however the experiences we share are alike. Subsequently, with the transfer of schools I did not have to undergo the ordeal that Junior went through. However, I can relate to his character as it is hard to let go of familiar places and join a society that you have no idea about. Similarly, Junior and I both share the experience of having lost a family member that we cherish. Although both Junior and I had the same relationship with our respective relatives, out method of overcoming it were different.
Junior overcame his loss of his grandmother by mocking God and crying for hours however I overcame the loss of my relative in a different manner. Through the experiences that both Junior and I have faced, it is evident that Junior is the character that I relate to most in Sherman Alexie’s novel. What does Alexie do best in this novel? (eg. narration, dialogue, characterisation, language use etc. ) Give examples from the text on TWO aspects that you think are successful/effective in the novel, and why.
In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a part time Indian, Alexie has portrayed the characters in the film through the dialogue that each character speaks. The dialogue is snappy and realistic, creating an authentic voice about his life. This is conveyed through his sudden realisation about ‘white’ kids, “Holy/holy/what kind of kid can just hand over forty bucks like that. ” Although the plot is often sad the author has created a protagonist that is funny and surprisingly matter of fact about his life and who does not invite the reader to feel sympathy for him, instead forcing admiration for his undeniable sprit.
This is evident in Alexie’s novel where Junior finds himself getting beaten up on Halloween, “and spit on me/I could handle the kicks/but the spit made me feel like an insect/like a slug/like a slug burning to death from salty spit. ” Alexie has also used graphics to depict the struggles and poverty both in the affluent white society and the underprivileged Indian society. Through the use of graphic, Arnold illustrates key scenes from his life which in turn enables the audience to picture the life of an American Indian.
The use of graphics is effective as Junior explains that “words are too limited and unpredictable” and his cartoons, which he feels are the only way for him to depict his life. Therefore, Sherman’s Alexie use of graphics in Absolutely is effective and contributes to the novels successfulness. Alexie has said jokingly, “I’m an important brown guy now” (ie. in American fiction). Do you agree, based on your reading of this novel? Reasons/evidence? I agree with Sherman Alexie’s statement, “I’m an important brown guy now”. This statement justifies the books significance in recreating American Indian Reservation life.
It shows how Sherman Alexie’s work has influenced many people’s views on reservation life. It also signifies and illustrates the negative aspects of reservation life and gives the audience a different perspective about the lifestyle. Sherman Alexie has also use characterisation in this novel to depict the experiences that the characters undergo on the reservation. Alexie portrays to the audience that this book is not only a good read however it informs the audience on his life growing up and the things that he had to face. Therefore, in my point of view his statement of “I’m an important brown guy now” is an understatement.