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What is the most important lesson that Junior learns during the course...

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thatshot | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 23, 2010 at 4:22 AM via web

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What is the most important lesson that Junior learns during the course of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 23, 2010 at 7:59 AM (Answer #1)

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In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, the protagonist Junior (Arnold Spirit) learns that his identity is worth fighting for.  Throughout the novel, Junior has to battle with "monsters" who stand in his way:  poverty and alchoholism on the Spokane Indian reservation, poor education, the abuse of his best friend Rowdy, the death of loved ones, racism at Reardan.  Although Junior's life would in some ways be much easier if he assimilated into the lifestyle of his environment, he decides to instead take a different road to find himself and his own happiness.  Junior cannot accept the poor education offered to him on the reservation, so he decides to attend school at Reardan.  From here, all becomes complicated, but Junior toughs out all the trials that are thrown his way.  In the end, he and Rowdy become friends again, and Junior learns to love the good aspects of the reservation.  So in the end, Junior puts himself on a path to continue to explore and develop his identity.

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