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

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What significant quotes does Grandmother say in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

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The quote that always comes to mind from Grandmother Spirit in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is "forgive." Grandmother Spirit was an extremely influential person to Junior because she was so unique.  She was an extremely kind, tolerant and hopeful person which Junior found to be very rare on the Reservation.  Grandmother Spirit was also very unique on the reservation because she did not drink.  Ironically, Grandmother Spirit is run over by a drunk driver.  

The quote "forgive" comes when she is about to pass away and urges Junior and her family to forgive her murderer.  The family follows this request and leaves Gerald, Grandmother Spirit's murderer, for the court system.  Ultimately, the quote "forgive" is an extremely important theme to the book as Junior was a very angry child.  Several examples include his anger at his parents for being drunk and poor, his sister for not following her potential or Rowdy who does not understand why Junior would "abandon" the reservation. Junior needs to forgive these people for their shortcomings so he can live up to his own potential and focus on what he can control.

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