Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential in "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian". Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential because...

Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential in "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian".

Name any three characters that failed to reach their potential because they did no believe in themselves.

What pages are they on?

Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another character who fails to reach her potential is Junior's sister, Mary. In the novel, Junior tells us that Mary just "froze" after high school. She became depressed and didn't do anything with her life. She refused to go to college or to try to get a job. Junior relates that his sister's nickname is "Mary Runs Away."

Mr. P later reveals to Junior that Mary enjoyed writing romance stories when she was in school. Junior pictures Mary as a famous romance writer and is sad that she never tried to pursue her dreams of becoming one. Mr. P relates that Mary was a "bright and shining star" who just faded away. 

Eventually, Mary marries a man from the Flathead Indian Reservation and moves to Montana. She appears to be happy and begins corresponding with Junior. In her letters, emails, and postcards, Mary tells Junior that she is looking for a job and working on a book about her life. However, tragedy soon strikes: Mary and her husband die in a fire. So, Mary's life is ended before she manages to reach her true potential.

Also, a minor character who fails to reach his true potential is Eugene, Junior's father's best friend. Junior relates that Eugene could have played basketball in college. However, Eugene never learned to read. Because of this, Eugene could neither attend college nor play basketball. Eugene spends much of his time drinking when he isn't working as an EMT on the reservation.

Later in the story, Junior reveals that Eugene died after an alcohol-induced fight with one of his good friends, Bobby. The police believe that Eugene and Bobby likely fought over the last drink in a bottle of wine. So, Eugene is another character who dies before he can realize his true potential.

 

dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Three characters who did not reach their potentials because they could not believe in themselves are Junior's Mom, his Dad, and his best friend Rowdy.

Given the chance, Junior believes his Mom would have gone to college.  She "still reads books like crazy...and...remembers everything she reads...she can recite whole pages by memory...can read the newspaper in fifteen minutes and tell...baseball scores, the location of every war, the latest guy to win the Lottery".  Junior thinks that she might have been a teacher.  Given a chance, Junior thinks his Dad would have been a musician.  He "sings old country songs...and blues...and he sounds good...like a pro...he plays the guitar and the piano", as well as the saxaphone (Chapter 2).

Rowdy is another person who will never realize his potential.  A talented basketball player, Rowdy does not have the drive to leave the reservation in search of a better life.  Instead, he gives vent to his rage by fighting "everybody...boys and girls...men and women...stray dogs...the weather" (Chapter 3).  Mr. P says that Rowdy has "given up...that's why he likes to hurt people...he wants them to feel as bad as he does" (Chapter 5).

Junior recognizes that too many Indians have a complete lack of confidence because no one has ever listened to their dreams.  They feel they "somehow deserve to be poor because (they're) stupid and ugly...because (they're) Indian".  He says it is "an ugly circle" and, for most, "there's nothing you can do about it" (Chapter 2).

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question