In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, why does Junior pretend to have more money than he does?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Junior pretends to have more money than he does so that he can "save face" among the wealthier white students at Reardan.  Junior does not want his new friends and classmates at Reardan to know about his impoverished life on the reservation because he does not want them to pity him, nor does he want them to draw the conclusion that all Indians are poor.  When the Reardan kids ask Junior if he wants to go out to an event that requires money (for tickets, for clothing, for food, etc.), he makes up excuses to avoid having to admit that he simply does not have the money to cover his expense.  And when Roger finds out and offers to pay for Junior, Junior does not want others stepping in to make things better like he is a charity case.  So Junior prefers to keep his family's troubles hidden from the students at Reardan so that he can maintain his self-respect.

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