The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Study Guide

Sherman Alexie

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Course Hero. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Study Guide." Course Hero. 12 Dec. 2016. Web. 16 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Absolutely-True-Diary-of-a-Part-Time-Indian/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, December 12). The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 16, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Absolutely-True-Diary-of-a-Part-Time-Indian/

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Course Hero. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Study Guide." December 12, 2016. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Absolutely-True-Diary-of-a-Part-Time-Indian/.

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Course Hero, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Study Guide," December 12, 2016, accessed July 16, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Absolutely-True-Diary-of-a-Part-Time-Indian/.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Chapter 13 : My Sister Sends Me an E-Mail | Summary

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Summary

Mary sends Junior a long e-mail, where she shares she's looking for a restaurant job. Some of the Montana reservations are filled with white people who dislike Native Americans. But she likes most of the Montanans she's met, regardless of their skin color. She loves the hotel where she and her husband stayed on their honeymoon. There was Indian fry bread on the hotel menu, which Junior and Mary's grandmother used to make. Mary imagines a Flathead Indian grandmother making fry bread in the hotel kitchen. She seems happy with her marriage and her new life.

Analysis

Mary points out without bitterness that white people are taking up Montana reservations. Resentful of tribal control, white residents of Polson even gave themselves the authority to secede. (Mary, like Junior, is learning the power of looking up words.) As a Native American, Mary's experienced racism and knows how white people feel threatened by minorities.

Mostly, though, she's focused on enjoying her new experience and finding similarities to home. The e-mail gives Junior optimism Mary's adventure will work out. She's going full-tilt into adulthood, so far overwhelmed by the luxuries she can afford, not worried about whether or not she deserves them—in a way, a more gracious attitude than Junior's conviction that "Indians don't deserve shit." Is Mary still in the honeymoon phase of her new life, or will her move be a permanent move toward stability? Junior hopes if she'll succeed, he can, too, and maybe they'll both break the depressive cycle of their family.

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