Anth 101 Report

Anth 101 Report - Clash between cultures, especially Native...

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Clash between cultures, especially Native American and White, is no new concept within the field of anthropology. Though some differences between them are obvious, such as appearance and heritage, it is the underlying differences that are explored by author Sherman Alexie in his novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian . He explores two specific regions, the reservation town of Wellpinit and all-white town of Reardan, each of which touches the life of fourteen-year-old Arnold Spirit Junior. Throughout the novel, Alexie shows that one can benefit from the traditions and values of both cultures despite their contrast to each other. Furthermore, he reinforces this theme by the tone and style of his writing. Alexie has a balance in his writing style between sarcasm, humor, and deep sentimentality. He writes the novel with an honest enthusiasm and light hearted spirit, as if the reader can see right into Junior’s every thought on his experiences as a 14 year old teenager. Alexie balances the humor with his serious moments about life on the reservation, on the hardship of having alcoholic relatives, and the constant grief of losing them. Alexie’s experiences and Spokane heritage shine through in this way; it is not hard to see in his style that he faced the hardships and embraced the humor and traditions in the same way his character does in the novel. Although this novel is about the internal struggles of one teenager in two cultures, there are significant differences between the characters that further explain Alexie’s perspective on growing up Indian. Junior is the main character for good reason; he is intelligent, emotional, dynamic, and most of all, he understands the value of his heritage as well as the value of life off the reservation. Unlike the other characters, Junior is constantly struggling with going to school in the white town of Reardan while still living on the reservation. At first he is not accepted in either situation, a traitor at home, a freak at school, but as the novel progresses and Junior gradually becomes more popular at the school, he also faces more tragedies on the reservation that mend the tension with his tribe. Thus, Junior views his experiences on and off the reservation in a unique way because of his heritage. He faces experiences with an Indian mindset, even when his mindset is out of the
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Rachel Lumnitzer Anth 101 Book Report ordinary. For example, when he first arrives at Reardan, Junior gets into a fight with the school jock, Roger over a very racist remark. Junior hits Roger hard, expecting a fight because he is used to fights on the reservation, often due to very minor reasons. He confuses Roger, who does not expect such a fight, because Reardan students do not view fights the
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2012 for the course ANTH 101 taught by Professor Storniolo during the Winter '12 term at Drexel.

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Anth 101 Report - Clash between cultures, especially Native...

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