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Who are the minor characters in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

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mtbpepsi | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM via web

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Who are the minor characters in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

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

Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:33 AM (Answer #1)

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Minor characters in literature are those who aid in the development of the story, but whose personal journeys are not part of the main point of the story.  In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, minor characters would be characters like Mr. P and Gordy.  Mr. P is Junior's math teacher at school on the Spokane Indian Reservation.  Mr. P does not appear to be happy teaching, and Junior resents him for not providing the students with the proper education.  Mr. P later tells Junior that he must leave the reservation to find a better opportunity.  This is the last time that Mr. P is in the narrative--he is only present as a way to show the pitfalls of the reservation's school system and as a catalyst to prompt Junior to go to Reardan. 

Once Junior gets to Reardan, he meets Gordy who is also an outcast because he is overly mature and intelligent.  Junior befriends him and they share the role of outsiders.  Junior shares some important moments of adolescence with Gordy, yet the two never become as close as Junior and Rowdy.  Gordy's life is not a focus in the novel, so he remains a minor character.

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