Identify and explain what you believe to be the major conflict of Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. How is this conflict resolved? What does Junior learn from this...

Identify and explain what you believe to be the major conflict of Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. How is this conflict resolved? What does Junior learn from this experience? What does the reader learn?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major conflict presented in Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is Junior's internal conflict over how to define his identity.  When Junior decides to attend school at Reardan, he must grapple both with the discrimination that he faces from some members of the all white community at Reardan, and he must also face the Indians on the reservation who label him as a traitor.  Junior is caught in a "part-time" status:  he feels Indian when he's at Reardan, and he feels "white" when he's on the reservation because of the negativity he faces from others.  Junior deals with this "Othering" by deciding that he is doing what is best for himself in the situation.  He is proud of being Indian, and he is proud of taking charge of his life by going off the reservation for a better education.  Junior learns that he can exist in both worlds and that he is part of both worlds.  From Junior's experience, the reader learns that remaining true to one's self and fighting through obstacles allows one to find a place where he or she belongs.

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