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What's Junior looking for at Reardon and can't find at Willpinit in The Absolutely True...

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misseee801 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2010 at 2:28 AM via web

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What's Junior looking for at Reardon and can't find at Willpinit in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

How do issues of racism, class, ability and poverty show both obstacles and opportunities along the way?

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted March 15, 2010 at 7:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Junior is looking for hope. When he opens his science textbook and discovers that they are 30 years old, it hits him that there is no opportunity for him in Willpinit. Junior is driven, he's smart, and he wants to go places in life. He knows that if he stays in Willpinit he will get stuck, so he transfers to Reardon, where they have textbooks and science labs and computers. 

When he gets there, it isn't easy. He runs into racism from not only the other students and teachers at Reardon, but also from people on the reservation who call him a "white lover" and feel betrayed by his transfer. He can't even easily get to school, and that is a challenge by itself. His poverty is another obstacle to overcome, just by not having enough gas money or a good car to get to school. He doesn't have nice clothes like the other kids, can't afford school dances, and can't go out with friends because he can't even afford a plate of pancakes. However, his poverty and his racial experiences have made him resourceful and insightful, and Junior has a good understanding of people and the world around him. He also finds himself in his talents, in his drawing and in basketball. Here he is able to shine and explore life and his emotions through these outlets. 

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