I.THE ABSOLUTE TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN
Alexieand Forney develop the idea of fitting in in which Arnold is aforeigner and goes to an all white’s school. He faces racism andfears how he will be judged by the classmates because of his poorbackground. However, he gets to fit in, and accepts himself makinghim a champion. Another author, Flake, addresses the issue ofMaleeka, who also finds it hard to fit in a school full of Americansas she was dark skinned, due to her African-American background.However, she accepts herself after being advised by her teacher andlater fits in and survives.
A.Alexie and Forney on fitting in
1.Wounded self-esteem:Junior had a wounded self-esteem because of his name. The principlewould make the whole school make fun of him because he could notpronounce his name well(Alexie and Forney 34).
2.Racism: Junioris portrayed as an Innate American boy trying to fit in two cultures.When he went to Rearden, he was easily noticed because all other kidswere whites.
3.Poverty:Poverty made Junior become embarrassed, and believed other kids wouldjudge and hate him. The reservation was 22 miles from Rearden, andArnold walked, or got a ride from his father if he had money for gas(Alexie and Forney 45).
4.Mixing of culture: Arnoldmade a drawing of himself, with a line through the middle of hisentire body. The left entailed the attire and traits of Arnold’swhite part while the right showed his Indian side(Alexie and Forney 67).The white side’s top had a subheading in a box saying ‘Anoptimistic future’while the Indian side contained ‘Adisappearing past.`
B.Flake on fitting in.
1.Racism: Anotherauthor who brings out the idea of fitting in is Sharon Flake in herbook TheSkin I’m In inwhich kidspicked on Maleeka, because of her skin condition(Flake 32).She wanted to have a lighter skin for people to stop teasing her.
2.Poverty: Maleekacame from a poor background, and her mother had to sew their clothes,which was not appealing to a normal teenager(Flake 50).Charlese agreed to give her clothes on condition Maleeka didCharlese’s homework.
Inconclusion, each person has gone through a situation that has madehim, or her want to fit in with the rest. It can be through school,job, or sport when they feel out of place, and want to avoidconflicts by assimilating to the norms. It is hard to change school,and go to one with different culture and ethics just like the case ofArnold. Being the odd one out is hard but however tough life gets,one should strive, and will eventually overcome the difficulty.Maleeka is also an inspiration because she tried her best to fit inMcClenton Middle School, and went for her desire and not what othersthought of her.
TheAbsolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Alexie,Sherman and Ellen Forney. The Absolutely TrueDiary Of A Part-Time Indian. New York [u.a.]: Little,Brown, 2014. Print.
Shermanand Forney brought upan idea that itis hard being a foreigner in a new place. Arnold Spirit, the maincharacter in the novel, underwent the problem of fitting in, sincemaking friends became a hard task. Being a teenager makes it harderbecause one does not know who they are yet. Later on, one overcomesthe challenge, and becomes able to fit in the new community. Theidea of fitting inis addressed by other authors like SharonG. Flake in the book TheSkin I’m In. MaleekaMadison, the main character, is bullied because she is anAfrican-American,skinny, tall, and dark skinned. As life got tough, she learned tolove her skin and fight for herself for survival (Flake 23). As putby Sharon in the novel, “You have to realize that all you are iswhat you have.”
ShermanAlexie portrays that Junior had a wounded self-esteem because of hisname. At the elementary school, he struggled to fit in with hisfriends and classmates. He was Bosnian with a name spelled S-E-J-L-Awith a “Shayla” pronunciation, hence caused a big problem to him.Every morning the principle would make announcements on theloudspeaker concerning the weather, birthdays, special events, andthe pledge of allegiance. The principle would then butcher Junior’sname on his birthday making him a laughing stoke for the entireschool(Alexie and Forney 37).He would cry going home to complain and yell at her mother for givinghim a different name that was hard to pronounce. It is normal foreach person to undergo hard times in life. Ultimately, when he grewolder, he learned to be proud of his name and culture but as seen,being a teenager proved hard to be an outsider as people make fun ofyou at every given chance.
Junioris portrayed as an Innate American boy trying to fit in two cultures.He felt a stranger as he viewed himself half white and half Indian.The reservation required him to behave like Indians, while in the newhigh school, he was pressured to mix with the white classmates. TheIndian reservation promised little success as it was full ofviolence, alcoholics, death, and poverty. When he went to Rearden, hewas easily noticed because all other kids were whites. Roger and histroop picked on Arnold on the first day by calling him racist names.This was a nightmare to him, and using the rules of reservation hepunched Roger in the face, and that helped him earn respect. This,therefore, shows that fitting in a new environment is hard but astime goes by one devices way that helps them survive.
Povertymade Junior become embarrassed, and believed other kids would judgeand hate him. The reservation was 22 miles from Rearden, and Arnoldwalked or got a ride from his father if he had money for gas. To trekto their home, he would wait for all the kids to leave, as he did notwant them to see him. Nonetheless, his friends and classmatesaccepted him, and got to like him quickly. Gordy, who was a smartkid, became his friend and also, he got a girlfriend by the namePenelope who was well known at Rearden. To his surprise, he made itin the varsity basketball team that he had never imagined wouldhappen. He gained confidence, unlike in his previous school and wasno longer ashamed of his background. It is, therefore, evident thatArnold did fit in the new environment and developed to a betterperson.
Itis challenging to have cross-cultural backgrounds as in the case ofArnold, who finds it hard to familiarize with the new school withpeople of a different culture. He was always ready for the worst tohappen to him. He sought for ways that would help him fit in. He hadproblems at home after losing his sister, grandmother, and hisfather’s best acquaintance because of the alcohol menace. He drewcartoons to deal with issues and make his life sensible that is, hewas drawing his thoughts. He gets to say in the novel “I draw sinceI need to communicate to the world, and I require the world to beattentive. I feel significant with a pen. I feel I will becomesomebody important (Alexieand Forney 6).”Arnold made a drawing of himself with a line through the middle ofhis entire body. The left entailed the attire and traits of Arnold’swhite part while the right showed his Indian side. The white side’stop had a subheading in a box saying ‘Anoptimistic future’while the Indian side contained ‘Adisappearing past.`The white side comprised a shirt for Ralph Lauren, a bag with a cellphone, Times wristwatch, and Tommy Hilfiger khakis. Half of the hairwas neat and did not have glasses. The Indian side had blue jeans,K-mart t-shirt, garbage bag, and tennis shoes. Arnold had a feelingof not belonging to Rearden due to his Indian origin. Everyone washis opposite including the rez ,and his family. Every class that hegraduated had half of the graduates going to college, but none wasfrom his family. Junior was different, and he had to demonstrate thathis family background did not make him lesser to his classmates. Thisis how Arnold tried to fit in, and it worked for him, as he was ableto gain self-knowledge and growth.
Flake,Sharon. The Skin I`m In. New York:Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2011. Print.
Anotherauthor who brings out the idea of fitting in is Sharon Flake in herbook TheSkin I’m In. Shepickedon Maleeka because of her skin condition. Maleeka wanted to have alighter skin for people to stop teasing her. She later realized thatin life, people live with flaws and some of them are not visible.Sharon had to put it that one should fit in by looking in the mirror,and like what they saw even if it is not their idea of beauty.In this case, Maleeka accepted her situation and had to fit in thesociety despite her skin color.
Maleekacame from a poor background, and her mother had to sew their clothes,and it was not appealing to a normal teenager. Charlese agreed togive her clothes on condition that Maleeka did Charlese’s homework.Charlese bullied her, but she endured so as to stand out of thecrowd. She was intelligent, but began to perform poorly in school asshe was harassed for being smart. Later, her teacher got concernedabout the decline in her performance, and advised her. Mrs.Saunders told her to have belief in herself because no one else will.This helped Maleeka,as she realized her worth, and was not shaken by the bullying fromCharlese and the harassment from her classmates anymore. As a result,she was able to fit in, and could carry on with her studiesperfectly, and accepted her family background. Additionally, Maleekafelt good and appreciated herself because Ms.Saunders was uglier than her (Flake 50). This is because she had abirthmark forming a big spot on her face that made kids make fun ofher. She, however, did not allow the cruel words of the studentsbring her down. This helped Maleeka appreciate her situation, andlearn to fit in like her teacher.
Inconclusion, people have gone through a situation that has made themwant to fit in with the rest. It can be through school, job, or sportwhen they feel out of place, and want to avoid conflicts byassimilating to the norms. It is hard to change school and go toanother one with different culture and ethics, just like the case ofArnold. Being the odd one out is hard, but however tough life gets,one should strive, and will eventually overcome the difficulty.Maleeka is also an inspiration because she tried her best to fit inMcClenton Middle School, and went for her desire and not what othersthought of her. The book helps one believe in themselves, fit in, andin turn, accomplish their dreams. It is also significant to realizebeing different is fun because if all people were the same, the worldwould be a boring place.
Alexie,Sherman and Ellen Forney. The Absolutely True Diary Of APart-Time Indian. New York [u.a.]: Little, Brown, 2014. Print.
Flake,Sharon. The Skin I`m In. New York: Jump at theSun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2011. Print.