In writing a paper about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, would it be best to talk about environment, culture, role models, or personal experiences? What passage...

In writing a paper about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, would it be best to talk about environment, culture, role models, or personal experiences? What passage from the book would best illustrate the recommended topic?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In writing a paper about Sherman Alexie's 2007 novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian one of your best choices of topics would be role models. You can work this out by a process of elimination.

Although the physical environment is discussed to some degree, the novel is far more focused on people. Culture is such a general topic that it would be difficult to organize and cover adequately in a single paper and would require extensive research. Since papers are intended to have a strong thesis, writing about personal experiences is a weak choice because it is difficult to find an overarching theme in them, and thus papers about the topic can easily degenerate into strings of unrelated anecdotes.

Role models makes a good topic because each role model in the book serves to model a different aspect of life for Junior. His Grandmother serves as a model for avoiding alcohol. Rowdy is a model of using physical skills and strength. Gordy is a model for Junior's intellectual development. Junior's sister models the necessity of following one's dream.

One of the most important quotations from the book follows after Junior has been forced to admit his poverty to his classmates. Rather than despising him, they rally round him and help, causing him to conclude:

“If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.”

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