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burke-eng eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. P wanted Arnold to leave the Wellpinit Indian reservation because living on the reservation will strip all the hope out of Arnold. Mr. P tells Arnold how reservation teachers were originally supposed to “kill the Indian,” meaning to strip the Indians of their culture and language to make them be more like whites. He sees promise and hope in Arnold and doesn’t want him to lose his hopes and dreams by spending his entire life on the reservation. He feels guilty for all the Indian students he has hurt and is trying to make it better by helping Arnold to make something of his life. Arnold takes Mr. P’s advice and transfers to the high school in Rearden, the white town 22 miles outside the reservation.

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