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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Junior's grandmother can be seen as loving and compassionate.  She was a figure to many Native Americans. Having been seen on a wider, if not national level, with her attendance of powwows, many Native Americans identified with Junior's grandmother.  Her sense of caring and sense of community is what defined her in Junior's eyes.  Her death brings out a large outpouring of support that Junior sees as a testament to her loving and compassionate nature.

In an unconventional way, Rowdy can also be seen as loving and compassionate.  The victim of abuse himself, Rowdy has much in way of anger.  Spending time with Junior became the manner in which he dealt with this, and his response is to defend Junior from any attacks at school.  His protection of Junior and willingness to care and love him in a friendship is evident by the sting of rejection he feels when Junior leaves to go to Reardan.  One can see Rowdy's loving and compassionate nature again in the ending of the novel, when he validates their friendship as lasting regardless of their attending different schools.  In his love for Junior, Rowdy shows compassion and care.

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