1 Answer | Add Yours
Junior goes to the cemetery with his parents to clean up the graves of Grandmother Spirit, Eugene, and Mary. His Mom has packed a picnic lunch, and his Dad has brought his saxaphone. His parents kiss and hold hands, and when Junior tells them they "can't make out in a graveyard", his Dad replies sagely that "it's all love and death".
Junior's Mom tells him she is proud of him, and Junior thinks about his sister, who was courageous because "she went searching for her dreams...she didn't find them, but she made the attempt". He recognizes that in daring to transfer to Reardan, he too is making "the attempt"; he understands that maybe, like Mary, his own attempt will kill him too, but he has no regrets. Junior cries for his sister, and for himself, and for his tribe, because he knows that "five or ten or fifteen more Spokanes would die during the next year, and that most of them would die because of booze".
Junior weeps because he knows he "will have a better life out in the white world". He is "a lonely Indian boy", but he is not alone in his loneliness. Junior is one with "millions of other Americans who (have) left their birthplaces in search of a dream", and he belongs to many "tribes" - the "tribe of teenage boys...small-town kids...Pacific Northwesterners...poverty...beloved sons". His realization of shared identity with so many beyond his Indian heritage makes him know that he will be okay.
Junior takes one last moment to remember those who will not be okay. He misses Rowdy (Chapter 28).
We’ve answered 315,728 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question