What advice does Junior's grandma give him about Roger's behavior?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Junior's grandmother's advice about Roger is both ironic and revealing about the culture in which Junior is growing up. First, he admits to her that he punched Roger in the face. At first she says, "You should have just walked away." She changes her mind, however, when Junior explains Roger's insults, which are derogatory terms for Native Americans. To this piece of information, his grandmother's advice is: "You should have kicked him in the balls." This is revealing about the culture on the Reservation. Even grandmothers encourage fighting for the right reasons.

Finally, Junior gets the entire story out, and his grandmother tells him that the reason Roger walked away without fighting back is because Roger respects him. She explains that Roger is the "alpha male" of the school and Junior proved how tough he was by standing up to him. (68)

The next day at school, Roger sees Junior arrive on the back of a motorcycle. He is not angry, nor afraid, nor planning revenge. Instead, he is civil to Junior, compliments the motorcycle, and ends the conversation with "I'll see you around" (72), proving that Junior's grandmother was exactly right.

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