In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, what forces drive the dichotomy of Junior's perception of his world and allow him to see the land in apparently disparate ways?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Junior sees the reservation in "apparently disparate" ways because he understands the cultural beauty and socioeconomic difficulties that are simultaneously present in life on the reservation. For example, in one scene, Junior sits on top of a high hill looking out over the reservation, and he feels a sense of love for the beauty of the landscape. He understands his people have a strong attachment to their land and families, which is why people—even in the face of adversity—choose to remain living on the reservation. Junior also understands there is a significant lack of opportunities for education and employment on the reservation, which creates problems such as the rampant alcoholism that claims the lives of many people Junior knows. Junior's decision to leave the reservation to go to school at Reardan is not motivated by hate or disgust for the reservation—he simply wants to have access to better opportunities. He loves the cultural and familial ties he has to the reservation, and this love motivates the disparate views he has of his life on the reservation.

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