The Absolute True Diary Of A Part Time Indian

1330 words - 5 pages

 “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 generational curses. In a way, Mr. P is Junior’s version of Jesus who is merciful on him and gives him the power to break free from his ancestral bonds. When Mr. P illuminates the fact that, “All these kids have given up. All your friends. All the bullies. And their mothers and fathers have given up, too. And their grandparents gave up and their grandparents before them,” he imprints the curse of hopelessness into Junior's conscience (Alexie 42). However, instead of dwelling on this fact, he presents Junior with a hopeful vision saying that, “You’re going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation” (Alexie 43). By doing this, Mr. P plants the seed of hope in Junior’s conscience that eventually flourishes. Junior progresses later in the conversation to say, “I was starting to understand. I had to add my hope to somebody else's hope. I had to multiply hope by hope” (Alexie 43) which verifies that the bonds of his hopelessness are being broken. He demonstrates his new progression even more so when he says, “I have to prove that I will never give up... I'm never going to quit living life this hard, you know? I'm never going to surrender to anybody. Never, ever, ever” (Alexie...

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