illustration of main character, Junior, holding a basketball and looking over his shoulder

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie
Start Free Trial

Why is Rowdy so angry and violent?

Rowdy is so angry and violent because he feels that it is the only way he can express himself.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Rowdy is noted as an angry and violent individual, the toughest kid on the reservation. Being his closest friend, Junior knows that Rowdy is not a bad person at heart: in private, Rowdy loves Casper the Friendly Ghost comics and can be quite goofy. Like Junior, he too is a...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Rowdy is noted as an angry and violent individual, the toughest kid on the reservation. Being his closest friend, Junior knows that Rowdy is not a bad person at heart: in private, Rowdy loves Casper the Friendly Ghost comics and can be quite goofy. Like Junior, he too is a dreamer, though his pride prevents him from showing that to anyone else. However, Rowdy comes from a broken home and suffers at the hands of an abusive father who regularly beats both him and his mother. Such an upbringing has undoubtedly twisted Rowdy's emotional development.

Unhealthy notions of proper masculine behavior also plague Rowdy. Throughout the novel, Junior observes that boys and men are not allowed to cry or show any sign of vulnerability (with the noted exception of crying over a lost basketball game in the locker room, as Junior later observes). Rowdy is a particular victim of this, choosing to express his pain in angry words and violent behavior. For example, when he learns Junior is going to Reardan, he is hurt and betrayed. He feels Junior is abandoning him, since he has no other friends on the reservation. Rather than express his unhappiness by discussing it with Junior, he punches him instead.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on