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What are some of the most important symbols in The Absolutely True Diary of a...

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seigaihamanaphy | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 29, 2010 at 5:06 AM via web

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What are some of the most important symbols in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

Just a couple of important symbols would help, I can't seem to find them.

 

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

Posted August 30, 2010 at 2:55 AM (Answer #1)

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Since the novel contains many visual images, many symbols are either housed in the images or at least suggested by them.  One of the major symbols in the book is visually represented in the image in which Junior throws the book at Mr. P.  During the scene in the novel, the math teacher Mr. P has given out textbooks to all his students, and Junior sees that he has his mother's former textbook.  After doing the math, Junior realizes that the book is more than thirty years old.  The book is symbolic of the poor education system that is on his reservation (and likely on many reservations), and Junior gets so angry that he feels he must rebel.  He throws the book at Mr. P, who in this scene is representative of bureaucracy, to express his anger and outrage at having to be the recipient of a poor education.

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