Analysis Of The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian By Sherman Alexie

1085 words - 5 pages

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian which was written by Sherman Alexie, combines humor and tragedy to tell a first-person narrative story of Arnold Spirit Jr., a 14-year-old Native American teenager, and the events in his life about pursuing his dreams. This book is a semi-autobiographical novel and it has won the 2007 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Odyssey Award as best 2008 audiobook for young people. The language in this book is simple, humorous and spontaneous, however, tragedies have played a more important part than comedies.

The famous novelist C. S. Lewis once said: “Out of all human events, it is tragedy alone that brings people out of their own petty desires and into awareness of other humans' suffering. Tragedy occurs in human lives so that we will learn to reach out and comfort others." Tragedy make people to care for others, and that’s one of the reasons why Sherman Alexie wrote this book. In the novel, when Arnold told the truth about being poor to Penelope, she didn’t mock him or stop being a friend with him, so did Roger. “But then I realized that she was being my friend. Being a really good friend, in fact. She was concerned about me.”(127) Real Friends care about each other. What’s more, when Arnold’s grandmother’s wake was held, “almost two thousand Indians showed up that they to say good-bye. And nobody gave my any crap.”(159) Even if he was still a “traitor” in his own people’s eyes, they also were aware of that Arnold was just a kid who has lost his grandmother. After Eugene died, Arnold seemed to go to pieces and he couldn’t bear any more losses, he even blamed himself for all the deaths. When one of his teachers at Reardan High School, Mrs Jeremy insulted him for his absence at school, he didn’t have the strength to fight back, but started with Gordy, all of his classmates defended him by leaving the classroom. This is one of the most touching scenes in the book. It urged the readers to feel Arnold’s pain, and let them have the desire to defend him.
Aldous Huxley, the great English writer, once said :“We participate in tragedy. At comedy we only look." People laugh at a funny thing and then they forget about it, and laughing is much easier than actual crying. Tragedy is memorable. The pain of a family member or a friend is unforgettable, and some humiliation from others can be stuck in people’s head for their entire life. Arnold would never able to forget about how his beloved grandmother, Eugene, and Mary have left, so he would never ever touch alcohol because he had been through the tragic consequences. And what Penelope’s father, Earl, has said to him would be stuck in his head for years and he would worry about being judged by his race every time he tried to go out with a girl. For children or teenagers, those unreasonable insults hurt the most, and the effect can last for a very long time. There is a poem called “Incident”, which was written by Countee Cullen, based on his...

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