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Mr. P. tells Junior he must leave the reservation. Rowdy on the other hand thinks...

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Shadibanana | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM via web

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Mr. P. tells Junior he must leave the reservation. Rowdy on the other hand thinks Junior is a traitor when Junior tells him about his plans. What advice would you give Junior? Is he right to transfer to a school outside Wellpinit or should he stay on the reservation with his people?

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

Posted November 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM (Answer #1)

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There can be no correct answer here.  Much of it is going to depend on what one believes.  For example, if one values Junior's need to stay with his people over all else, Rowdy is right.  Junior has to remain loyal to the Native Americans on the Rez and help them.  In this light, one values social solidarity over personal choice and thus Rowdy is correct.  At the same time, if one values individual action over community, then Junior should follow Mr. P's advice and leave.  Mr. P speaks from a position that has seen the death of individual dreams.  Mr. P alludes to the idea that he was a participant in this process of denying dreams.  Mr. P speaks from a position that validates individual experience over anything else.  The bonds to the community are secondary to the connection to one's dream.

This is the paradigm in which Junior must decide to leave or stay.  It is in this where his choice is made and through this lens, his decision is made.  There is not a right answer to the predicament because it is dependent on what is valued more.  Through his decision, it becomes clear that Junior values the preservation of his own dreams and that individual pursuit takes precedence in his mind.  While he balances the demands of his own sense of self with his own understanding of his place in the world, Junior acts in preservation of his own self- interest and advancement of his own condition of happiness. It is through this where Junior sees the need to take action.


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