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What is the summary for Chapter 22 of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time...

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 8, 2009 at 7:53 AM via web

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What is the summary for Chapter 22 of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

This chapter is titled "Red Versus White".

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 12, 2009 at 12:49 AM (Answer #1)

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Junior has learned that there are good and bad things about being white, just as there are good and bad things about being Indian.  He has noticed that there are white parents, "especially fathers, who never come to the school...for their kids' games (or) concerts", and that people in Reardan have a tendency to "be strangers to each other".  In contrast, on the reservation, "everybody knows everybody".

Junior thinks about his grandmother, who was the most amazing person in his life at the reservation because of her great capacity for tolerance.  Junior says that "ever since white people showed up...Indians have gradually lost all of their tolerance...(they) can be just as judgmental and hateful as any white person".  His grandmother, however, "still hung onto that old-time Indian spirit...she loved everybody".  Then she was killed by a drunk driver.

Before she died, Junior's grandmother told the surgeons to forgive her murderer, and that is the only reason Junior's father and other irate relatives left Gerald, the drunken Indian, alone to the justice system, which sentenced him to prison for eighteen months.  After serving his time, Gerald left the reservation and was never seen again.

Junior reflects on the irony of his grandmother being killed by a drunk driver.  Having never even tasted alcohol, she had been "the rarest kind of Indian in the world".  Junior's grandmother loved the world, and could not understand why anyone would want to be in it if they couldn't touch it "with all of (their) senses intact" (Chapter 22).

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