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Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential in "Absolutely...

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cucojeri | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 26, 2008 at 7:07 PM via web

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Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential in "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian".

Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential because they did no believe in themselves.

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 13, 2009 at 7:53 AM (Answer #1)

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Three characters who did not reach their potentials because they could not believe in themselves are Junior's Mom, his Dad, and his best friend Rowdy.

Given the chance, Junior believes his Mom would have gone to college.  She "still reads books like crazy...and...remembers everything she reads...she can recite whole pages by memory...can read the newspaper in fifteen minutes and tell...baseball scores, the location of every war, the latest guy to win the Lottery".  Junior thinks that she might have been a teacher.  Given a chance, Junior thinks his Dad would have been a musician.  He "sings old country songs...and blues...and he sounds good...like a pro...he plays the guitar and the piano", as well as the saxaphone (Chapter 2).

Rowdy is another person who will never realize his potential.  A talented basketball player, Rowdy does not have the drive to leave the reservation in search of a better life.  Instead, he gives vent to his rage by fighting "everybody...boys and girls...men and women...stray dogs...the weather" (Chapter 3).  Mr. P says that Rowdy has "given up...that's why he likes to hurt people...he wants them to feel as bad as he does" (Chapter 5).

Junior recognizes that too many Indians have a complete lack of confidence because no one has ever listened to their dreams.  They feel they "somehow deserve to be poor because (they're) stupid and ugly...because (they're) Indian".  He says it is "an ugly circle" and, for most, "there's nothing you can do about it" (Chapter 2).

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