Junior Character Analysis

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The story opens with a Western Montana where the family lives at the junction of the great rivers (Maclean 36). The speaker says that, in their family, there was no difference between religion and fly-fishing. The description brings out the religious atmosphere tied to the life of Jesus Christ during his Galilean ministry. That defines a family setting devoted to Christianity. Additionally, the speaker and his brother got teachings from the on fishing and spiritual matters from their father. Apparently, the description and the setting of the upbringing create an atmosphere of strict parenting skills of the speaker’s father. The atmosphere is rather tense and ominous, but it eventually defines proper upbringing. The speaker no longer fishes together with Paul since they are both in their early thirties (53). It is 1937 summer, and their father is retired. Paul is now a reporter in Helena and the speaker had “gone off and got married.” The setting in terms of time brings a nostalgic atmosphere in the story with respect to the speaker as he missed the old days.

Junior’s bravery in the novel is evident. Despite his damaged brain, he was motivated to follow in the footsteps of his grandmother in the anger-filled world. Junior observed that most of the Indians were wasted with alcohol. In fact, he knew of no more than five Indians, who were not drunkards, his grandmother being one of them. Alcohol had wasted his parents whom he wished were a college teacher and a professional saxophonist. He realized the power in the pen and avoided alcohol which in his words would “shut down my seeing and my hearing and my feeling” (Alexie 21). He hated poverty and wished for dreams to be nurtured so as to achieve success in life. The environment and his family background could not allow him to excel in life but he had the determination to get himself out of this despite the society having different values.

He could not bear to see that they were still studying using books that the generation of his mother used. He threw a book at a white teacher, breaking his nose and causing tension in class. The teacher was not impressed by Junior’s assault but was haunted by the guilt of instilling the white culture into the Indian students. The fourteen-year-old was suspended and the teacher, Mr. P. visited him at home and advised him to take his hope “and go somewhere where other people have hope,” implying to the whites (Alexie 162). He further discouraged Junior by telling him that giving up was the only thing taught to them. He boldly left for Reardan and had to walk there every day due to a lack of money for gas.

Junior had to face his people from the reservation in a basketball tournament. In spite of being considered as treacherous, he had to face his opponents, including his former friend, Rowdy and be a warrior even when he found it really weird. Challenges did not pin him down as he had Penelope, a white girl like and sympathize with him. Junior expected more from Penelope but realized that the gap between him and a white girl like her was too wide and called for more effort to narrow down. This novel on this North American Indian boy depicts his bravery amidst many setbacks. “You’re so brave. You’re a warrior,” was his father’s description of him (Alexie 55). Junior portrays a child from a poor background who makes it in life without losing track of his identity and origin. The environment, from the reservation to school was discouraging. The determination of the teenager to improve his life and overcome poverty, in spite of the handicaps of race, circumstances, and birth portrays a warrior and bravery in low key.

Works Cited Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Little, Brown and Company Publishers, 2007.