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Discuss the significance of the settings in the book The Absolutely True Diary of...

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blabla121 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted August 6, 2011 at 5:14 AM via web

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Discuss the significance of the settings in the book The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM (Answer #1)

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I would say that "the rez" is significant element in the development of Junior's character.  This setting allows Junior to fully understand elements of his identity as a Native American against which he must fight.  The sense of despair, hopelessness, and lack of regard for a constructive vision of the future is where Junior understands the reservation to represent.  At the same time, the setting of Reardon represents a world where Junior is viewed with both skepticism and a sense of distance.  It is a world where Junior recognizes his fundamental status as an "outsider."  In the end, this is where the setting holds meaning in Junior's characterization.  Both realms indicate a certain point of alienation and isolation for Junior.  His condition of a dual consciousness is enhanced by the fact that the shortcomings of one is the attribute of the other.  Rather, than be torn by this condition at the end of the narrative, Junior has found a point in his own state of being where he is able to take the best of each in formulating his own personalized sense of setting where his own sense of happiness emerges, as well as a sense of personal contentment in his own state of being in the world, both worlds.

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