At the very beginning of the novel, Rowdy is the best and only friend of Junior. Junior is very dependent on Rowdy because he protects him. Furthermore, Junior can tell Rowdy every secret and problem he has and Rowdy keeps it secret. He visits Junior very often because his father is integrated drunk and he beats him regularly. Rowdy is very important to Junior. He even says, Rowdy might be the most important person in his life.
And when Junior tells Rowdy that he want to leave the reservation and go to school in Reardan, Rowdy first started crying. But then, their state of friendship decreases because he gets very mad and he beats him three times. Rowdy starts hating Junior for leaving the reservation. That is when he knows that his best friend has become his worst enemy. Although he goes to school in Reardan, it is very hard for Junior because he has no one to talk with and he is very lonely. On Thanksgiving, Junior misses Rowdy so much, that he draws a cartoon for him and gives him. When Rowdy receives it, he watches Junior walking away and Junior know that Rowdy misses him, too. One day, when he needs advise from Rowdy about love, he writes Rowdy an E-Mail and asks him what to do. But Rowdy just writes back that Junior should get a life. So he is still mad and can not understand why Junior has left the reservation. Then, at his first basketball game against Wellpinit, we can also see that Rowdy still hates Junior and has not forgiven him yet. Rowdy has smashed his elbow into Junior’s head, although he knows that his head is already damaged. Later, at his sister’s funeral, Rowdy is crying in the woods. Junior tries to comfort him but he does not led him to comfort. He even wants to beat Junior but he mísses on purpose and tells Junior that it was Junior’s fault that Mary died. After that, he runs away.
At the beginning of the summer holidays, Rowdy visits Junior and he is very surprised. Rowdy tells Junior, that he still hated him but he was boring. So they play basketball. After a while, Rowdy explains Junior, that he was an nomadic because he is going to travel everywhere when he is older. He also tells him, that it was ok and he think it is pretty cool. So in the end Rowdy and Junior are pretty good friends again.
by RA, JG, LF, JN
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Junior first goes to the Wellpinnit school on the rez and then (after a teacher gave him the advice) he changed the school and went to school in Reardan a town full of white people near to the rez. In his old school nobody except for Rowdy liked him so he was an outsider. In his new school he first was an outsider to, but later got more attention. He made a few new friends in his class. His teachers made the life not easier for Junior on both schools. And on the new school he got a semi-girlfriend named Penelope who he hadn´t on Wellpinnit. In both schools he plays Basketball and Basebaal, but on Reardan you can also play Volleyball. His new Basketball team also is better than the Wellpinnit one. The new Reardean school also has a better PC-Room than Wellpinnit. On Wellpinnit Junior drew a lot, but on Reardan he didn´t draw that often anymore. His change to a new school was overall much better for Junior because he got more happy, didn´t got bullied, made new friends and got a girlfriend. But on the rez he got more bullied than before and he lost his best friend Rowdy. The Indians called him apple because they thought he was red on the outside (because of the indian skin) but was white on the inside because he had left the rez and likes the whites. So Junior feels split into two pieces because he has two different lives, one on the rez and one in Reardan. On the rez he gets bullied and called bad names, but in Reardan everyone likes him and he is respected.
By: Kai,Leon,Niklas,Gordon and Christian
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Number 1 Those passages made us think about what people are able to do when they are drunk. Rowdy always gets punched by his father, especially when he is drunk. So Rowdy´s father is is not able to take control over his own body and he is very violent. Among those punches, Rowdy has to suffer very much. While he suffers among those tortures by his father he also developes fury. He vents that fury on foreign people. His mood is always bad because of his father. Rowdy just punches people because he gets punched. He just takes those chances to punch people as an exit for his fury. Rowdy seems to be used to get punched by his father so he just learned to punch. You can not talk about an advantage when you get drunk. You are not able to control your own body and you also do things you usually would not to do when you were sober. For the one who is drunk everything seems perfect but for the people in your surrounding you can be very harmful.
Number 3 thought bubble: “We are so freaking poor that we even have not enough money for those new damn books. What are we allowed to use instead of the new ones? Yes right,
the ones which are about 30 years old. I am going to explode…..WOAHH! ”
The Cartoon where Junior throws the book at Mr. P
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Character profile “Junior (Arnold) Spirit”:
Arnold Spirit Jr., nicknamed Junior, is a fourteen-year-old Boy who is living on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, USA.
He was born on the 5th of November 1992 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. He has a lot of physical Problems which he calls “water on the brain” since he was born. One of them is that he has seizures. He has a stutter and a lisp, what makes him to the biggest retard in the world. Another thing is that he has a singsong Reservation accent that makes everything that he says to a bad poem.
Junior and his Family, along with the others on the Reservation are dealing with poverty. That is something he really hates, to be poor. Like most of the other Members of the tribe Arnold has grown up impoverished and surrounded by alcoholism.
Arnold has an enormous Skull, huge hands and feet but for that his body is very skinny. He says he looks like an “vegetable”. On his Head he wears thick, black und ugly glasses. Because his eyes are lopsided.
Because of his special appearance he often gets bullied. That’s why he is often lonely, hangs out alone and thinks of himself as weak, invisible and unable to fight back physically. Because of this he has not much self-confidence.
But he can be proud of himself. Junior is incredibly smart and transfers from an all-Indian school to an all-white school. He keeps up his hope by reading books and drawing cartoons, which to him represent both a chance to leave the reservation and a potential for universal understanding.
He also loves playing basketball, discovering he has unexpected talent when he joins the Reardan basketball team as a great shooter.
All in one Arnold Spirit is a “warrior”, a smart, brave, highly committed boy who has been fighting since he was born.
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Interpreting school life:
Reardan and Wellpinit
Juniors school life at Wellpinit is totally different than his school life at Reardan.The Wellpinit high school is very poor so that they just have books, which are almost thirty years old. Furthermore they have unqualificated teachers and no discipline. In the Reardan high school they have a strikt order, a school constitution and every student has his own ID. For Junior, Reardan his the opposite of his life in the Rezervation. The students at Reardan are the best for him. They are smart, beautiful, epic, have expensive clothes, a bright future and are filled with hope. They are actually the opposite of Junior. At both schools Junior is bullied by the others. But there is a great difference. At Wellpinit it was normal to fight with the ones who insult him. But at Reardan the guys just fight with words. In the Rezervation Junior had not had many friends but one good friend, Rowdy,at Reardan it’s more easy to make new friends, because they are politer and they have the same interests. But after Junior has decided to go to Reardan he’s not longer acceptet as an Indian they think he’s a traitor and they treat him like that, like an outcast. At Reardan that’s a bit different „the White“ don’t hate him or maltreat him they just don’t care and ignore him,til he gets popular because of basketball and Penelope .
To come to the end of the interpretation we would say that Junior likes his school life at Reardan more than at Wellpinit,because there are people around him who are dreamers just like him, who haven’t lost their hope yet. And because he has a chance of a better life then his parentes. It takes his time but after a while at Reardan Junior is respected just like he is.
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Life on Reservation – poverty
Most Native Americans live today in so called reservations. These are big areas, which were given to them 200 years ago.
Today there are still 300 reservations in the USA. Living there is often hard. The reasons are that most of the people have not got a job and farming is not possible because the ground is barren.
Nowadays they do not live even more in Tipis, they mostly live in shanties or in prefabricated houses.
A lot of the Native Americans leave the reservations in the morning and go to work in the cities close by, then they come back in the evening. They have to do this because it is hard to find jobs in the reservation. But it is also hard outside because there are many prejudices against them.
Many of the Indians have to starve because of poverty. That means they only can eat one meal per day or less.
We think that the reasons for the poverty in the reservations are that there is no real economy and it is not possible to farm over there. It is also not really easy to expand the industry because the people in these areas have not enough money for this and no Investor from the outside would give them some. Everything starts in their childhood because the education in these zones is very bad, for example they do not learn how to read or how to write. This causes that the students get bad jobs and no stipends, so circular flow starts again.
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