The magic of Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is developed through the combination of humorous narration and child-like doodle-art. Doodles, in a similar manner to words, reveal inner thoughts giving the reader an deeper understanding of the main character.
In the same way that dreams are understood to have meanings, doodles can also indicate what is going in the subconscious.
Alexie's main character, Junior, struggles for acceptance in both of his worlds: his native-american home and his all white school. Born with a defect requiring brain surgery, he faces physical impairments due to brain damage. Constantly teased and called a "retard", Junior seeks solace in his art, seeking the freedoms and deeper understanding that art brings. Drawing cartoons surrounding issues of alcoholism, child abuse, and death, one can easily see a connection between the subject of his doodles and his purpose for doing so. Junior himself shares with his reader that he draws
because words are too unpredictable...because words are too limited...but when you draw a picture everybody can understand it.
Sherman Alexie's main character seeks what everyone seeks, simply to understand the world and be understood by that world.