Archive for the ‘Interpretation’ Category

As you all know from the novel (The absolutely true diary of a part time Indian) that there is much violence on Indian reservations which is sometimes very hard for the people who live there. Many Indians suffering from the Indian gangs but there are also people who love the gangs. They love them because they have no perspective. The most ones who believe in the gangs are teenagers. They have no money and their only hopes are the gangs. Their only chance to make money is to deal drugs, this does not make it better and many of these very young people have problems with the police because dealing drugs and gang fights are criminal and so, many of them go to jail or have to face other consequences.

But still they continue their gang life. You have to imagine that if you live in a reservation you cannot do anything. There is nothing, it is just wasteland so they are maybe even bored. But the main reason is that they have no money and also they want a job. Many Indians do not get one because there are no places of work and when there are some, there are not many. So you become a criminal, even the teenagers. But this does not mean that they want be criminal.

We found an example of a 15 years old boy. Here is his story:

Richard Wilson has been a pallbearer for at least five of his “homeboys” in the North Side Tre Tre Gangster Crips, a Sioux imitation of a notorious Denver gang. One 15-year-old member was mauled by rivals. A 17-year-old shot another gang member on a cocaine binge and firing wildly, was shot by the police. One died in a drunken car wreck, and another, a founder of the gang named Gaylord, was stabbed to death at 27.

So you see the live of an Indian people on a reservation is t not easy most of the time, not for the gangs and not for the families of their members. Because many of these members are shot or die in a fistfight and that’s only because someone names the other asshole or some other bad words. It is only a little thing and because of that they have to die. You can also see that the conditions in the reservations are very hard and brutal. The gangs have no mercy to you and if you will show your weakness you will be shot, you or your family, but not always will they shoot, they may hurt you or destroy your house. And the family of this member has to pay for that, for the mistakes of others. Someone must pay for that with his life. And the police don´t do anything against that, they only do something when it is too late. There is no support from the state or from the other people. They can die there and no one is interested in this horrible story and so there is a very big poverty, and that’s not only because they have no money, it´s because they have a frustrating live, they can´t do any job they want, because they have no school graduation and so they must deal drugs to earn money, so they get on a bad track because there is no way out. They all know their future and they all know, that there is no way to get a better future. Then they join those gangs because otherwise they would be a part of nothing and in a gang they can be a part of something. The young kids get involved when they are around 10-year-old children, they learn how to handle guns and to deal with drugs and weapons. So they do not know any other way of life. They seemm and feel adult with such skills.

The most gangs live in Arizona among the Navajo Tribe 1997. There are about 225 gangs. Those are so many that the gangs linked to each other so only about 75 remain. In some rare cases members of gangs reach a normal life but it is not easy.

Mr. Young Bear from Lakota found out that many members are psychologically damaged. He thinks about something that could help the people who want to get out of this bad live. So he has started a HEAD START program for free. HEAD START means that you first have to get your brain “clean” before you can actually get out of gang life. Mr. Young Bear does things like drumming, sun dances and chanting (it is kind of singing ).

Michael Little Boy Jr., 30, of the village of Evergreen, said he had initially been tempted by gang life, but with rituals and purifying he could save him: “I was able to turn myself around.” He is emerging as a tribal spiritual leader, working with youth groups to promote native traditions.

(written by: Lukas, Leonard, Kathrin, Katharina, Mariella)

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Junior is the main character and the narrator of the novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian“.

At the beginning of the novel Junior introduces himself as a guy born with a brain damage. Because of that he had 42 teeth (32 after the dentist had pulled 10 teeth at the same time ). He also has very big feet (shoe size 42 in the third grade), large hands, an epic skull and a very skinny, but sportive body. “With my big feet and pencil body, I looked like a capital L walking down the road“ (p.12, ll.28-29). He is farsighted on the one eye and nearsighted on the other, so he has to wear ugly, thick, black plastic glasses. He looks in a lopsided way, because his glasses do not have the same thickness. He looks very poor : He only has cheap jeans, K-mart T-Shirts, no watch and shoes purchased in the supermarket. Junior often is confronted with the bad things of being poor and he says that it sucks. He is clumsy and not confident. He is often called a pussy or a retard and he often is beaten up by the other guys on reservation, that’s why he often stays at home and draws cartoons. He stutters and lisps, that’s why he draws cartoons, because he thinks drawing cartoons is the only way other people can understand him. Almost everybody who is black is an artist. Junior thinks that if somebody paid attention to his parents’ dreams that his mother would be a teacher and his father a good saxophone player. That’s why he changes schools to Reardan, a school full of white, successful and rich children, because he wants to make something out of his life. His best friend Rowdy hates him for this and beats him up and calls him a traitor. Junior is very sad about that and cries a lot .At the high school he discovers his talent for basketball and for attracting girls. At Reardan he falls in love with the beautiful and perfect white girl Penelope, but at the beginning she ignores him. But later they became some kind of a couple.

Junior is a friendly guy, but he can also be a fighter and very aggressive, for example when he punches Roger in the face. He is an emotional guy, that is why he often cries, he cries a lot after Eugene, Junior’s father’s best friend was shot by a drunken man. He also cries after his grandmother and his sister died. However Junior is a good student as you can see on his freshman report card p.218). But he is still dependent on his friends and family. He is kind of perverse, for example that he always masturbates, as you can read on page 35. His equation: Naked woman + right hand = happy happy joy joy .

He says that he talks about it in public because “everybody does it and everybody likes it.“ (p.35, l.13) He even got a “physical reaction“ when his fifty-year old teacher hugged him because of the death of Junior’s sister.

(By OpokGero, MeurPhil, GottJan, BonsJan)

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download the graph as a PDF file: state-of-friendship

by Marc,  Jan B, Justin and Jan T

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On reservations all over the US, poverty is very high in general. Between 40-80% of the Native Americans there have no job, like Junior’s parents. Often they have no money for gas, so Junior has to go to Reardon High school. In Reardon he hides his poverty, because he’s scared, that the people might laugh at him. But he also takes poverty with humor and sarcasm. In Wellpinit he’s not scared, that the people could laugh about him because of his poverty. It’s an everyday thing. His family and friends are shoplifters and the most of the Native Americans on his rez are alcoholics, because they don’t know what to do or they are depressive. Junior is also afraid of going to a new school where everyone is white but he knows that this is the only chance to make his life better. He sometimes hates his poverty and doesn’t want to be poor or alcohol addict in his future that’s another reason for transferring to ReardanSchool.

We can’t really imagine what poverty really is. Some Indians know it very well. Children have a bath in the kitchen’s sink, some life with up to 30 persons in one house and use only one bathroom. Some people don’t want to sleep in the houses because of the many alcoholics, the greyness and sometimes there are even holes in walls. Most of the Indians know drugs and alcohol very well and the prison from the inside.

The average Indian family has less than 1500$ per year (most of the German people earn more than 1000$ per month).Many Indians have no job, some want to stay with the family and friends some are too lazy to pick them up. Most of the Indians who earn money make their money with casinos. So it’s typical that the tourists often remember only the casinos and not the everyday life of the Indians. The Indians’ life isn’t easy, most of them don’t go on white schools, 90% of their life takes place on the reservations. They do not bother to learn a job or do anything else to make money and the few jobs on the reservation are difficult to get. So many Indians don’t get a job and can’t earn any money.

The few who go on white schools or bother to learn a good job which helps them to earn money, mostly move in the city, because of the shorter commute and don’t visit the rest of their families very often.

The families and friends get angry and are jealous about the ones which make more out of their lives. They often treat them badly, and so the few who want to earn money and have a good job are afraid of what awaits them in the future if they leave the reservation and do something with their life.

Made by: Shima, Noelle, Janina, Isabel, Vici

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Rowdy is Junior’s best friend. He is a tall and thin 14-year old Indian boy. He lives on the rez (reservation).

At the beginning of the book, Rowdy has the role, of protecting Junior. This role was established at the time of birth. Rowdy is also a fighter. He fights his way through life. He is always mad at everyone and everything. When his kindergarten teacher asked him what was wrong with him, his reply was: “everything“. This shows that Rowdy was very unsatisfied and discontented with his life. His abuse from his alcoholic father explains a lot of Rowdy’s character: his meanness, his aggressive behaviour, but also his role as a protector. Rowdy is also an abuser who likes to take his aggression out on other kids. He has given up on becoming anything important in life. He constantly likes to hurt other people to try and make them feel his pain – he wants to try and make them feel as bad as he does by physically beating them up.

Rowdy actually becomes emotional when Junior transfers to Reardon. He tries to hide the pain of losing his best friend by beating him up. Rowdy knows that he would never be brave enough to leave the reservation like Junior does, but wants to prove that he’s stronger than everybody else by beating Junior up.

Later in the book Rowdy shows his loyalty to Junior when he confides in him about his feelings of first love … although he is also very rude and truthful to Junior, that this love will never be returned. Could this actually be a fear that he would lose his friend to a girl, thus feeling threatened by the thought of losing Junior’s friendship. Even though he hurts Junior very badly with his rudeness he never betrays his best friend’s secrets, which shows his loyalty to Junior.

During the Thanksgiving break Junior visits Rowdy even though their friendship is strained and broken. Rowdy still shows some respect for Junior by keeping the cartoon that Junior drew for him. You come to the conclusion at this point in the book that they miss each other, but Rowdy is just too stubborn to admit it and work on restoring their friendship.

We know very early on in the book that Rowdy is athletic. His dream of playing basketball is very important to him. At the point in the book where their school teams play each other, Rowdy doesn’t show his disloyalty to Junior by turning his back on him like all the other players did. Although he does show his anger at Junior for being disloyal to the reservation when he smashes his elbow into Junior’s head. In a way he shows jealousy at Junior for switching schools and trying to better himself. He could also be jealous of Junior that he got away from a life on the reservation. Again he wants to show his physical superiority over Junior by knocking him unconscious. Rowdy is probably trying to keep Junior out of the game, because he realizes that Junior has become good, if not a better basketball player than he is.

When Junior’s sister dies in the book Rowdy becomes very mad and hateful towards Junior. Junior finds Rowdy alone in the woods crying after the funeral. Junior finds Rowdy’s tears very touching but Rowdy sees tears as a sign of weakness. He once again tries to get physical by throwing punches at Junior. This emotional side of Rowdy is something new. He also gets angry at Junior (hiding his own pain of losing his best friend) by blaming his sister’s death on Junior. Rowdy is showing revenge at Junior’s leaving by putting the blame of the death on him.

In the last chapter of the book we find the boys walking towards Turtle Lake. This is a memory of Junior’s from when they were ten years old. They find the tallest tree on the reservation and Rowdy challenges Junior to climb to the top. He wants Junior to be courageous. He encourages Junior to reach beyond his limitations and climb to the top of the tree.

At the end of the book Rowdy re-enters Junior’s life. He shows his forgiveness for Junior leaving the reservation by sharing his dream about Junior. Telling him that it was all right to go his own way and live a life outside of the reservation.

In conclusion we can say that Rowdy is a protector, he is loyal, strong, aggressive, stubborn, revengeful, but in the end he is forgiving.

(written by: bocktyle, wahijama, zeisphil, stemmaja)

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Our topic is Junior’s life between two worlds. Since he left the reservation school he has always had problems with Indian people who can not respect him going to a white school. But also with his classmates at Reardan he often gets in trouble because he looks different than the others. During his school time he feels ‘white’ and when he is back in the reservation he’s an Indian again. In the following essay we will explain why he feels ‘sliced in half’ or why he is called an “apple”.

On the one hand he feels like an Indian because of his family. He’s very proud of his parents because he knows they love him as best as they can. Another point is that his family members are all Indians and they always support him and love him in any situation, mostly his grandma. You can see that in the agreement to let Junior go to a white school although they know he will get problems with the other Indians in the reservation. His family stick together, you can see that when Junior’s sister and his grandma die. Then, the reservation is the place where he has grown up and which he has known for his whole life. Furthermore he was born as an Indian and he will die as one. It is his origin. Moreover the best friend (Rowdy) he ever had is also an Indian. They belong together and Rowdy is almost like a family member for Junior. They have always done things together, for example climbing in a pine tree. Also he likes the Indian traditions for example the ‘pow-wow-dance’.

Nevertheless he feels ‘white’ on the other hand. One reason are his new friends at Reardan. At the white high school he has more friends than on the reservation school, where he only got Rowdy. His classmates also respect him after Junior punched Roger in his face. Another reason is Penelope, his friend, who he fell in love with. His new friends are all honest with him and they don’t just like him because they think he is rich and cool. To give the confirmation his friends still are still chummily with him even when they have found out he is poor. He’s playing basketball there and enjoys that very much. Furthermore, he gets a better education at Reardan High school than in the rez and even though Reardan is the opposite of him and his Indian life he is successful and he can realize his dreams and he gets the chance to prove himself. You can see that on his quick rise in the basketball team and his good marks. He’s able to enjoy his life, for example he can go out with his friends (diner at the waffle house) while he can’t do that in the rez. Because of that he is able to make new experiences about love and friends.

So finally the two worlds clash. First, Junior couldn’t deal with it very well: at his high school he was bullied by his classmates and back in the reservation nobody respected him, even Rowdy was angry with him, except for his family. You can see the slice in his life between the two worlds on the cover of the book, too. On the left side there is the road in the reservation and on the left you see him playing basketball. But then slowly his situation becomes better: he finds new friends and in the end Rowdy even comes back again and tells Junior that he is an ‘nomadic Indian’ so he’s not angry anymore. They even call him ‘apple’ (Red on the outside and white on the inside), he also calls himself ‘part-time Indian’.

All in all the two worlds get along well because during the book the people start to respect that he is different from everybody in the rez and in Reardan.

(written by franmari, liedalex, stoccora, hoppjuli, zhanenti)

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Junior’s school life changed when he changed the school:

Aspect Wellpinit Reardan Effect on Junior
friends He has one friend (Rowdy) at Wellpinit. He has more friends at Reardan, mostly three (Penelope, Gordy and Roger). -> He feels better at Reardan.
teachers The teacher at Wellpinit (Mr. P) is very weak. The teachers (e.g. Mr. Dodge) are stricter. -> There is more discipline at Reardan.
sport activities There is only basketball offered. Many sport activities are offered. -> He can try out more sport activities.
Junior’s acceptance Only Rowdy accepts him. First he is accepted by no one, then he is accepted by more and more pupils. -> He has a better social position at Reardan.
material Their material is old, because they are poor and can’t buy new material. They have got a lot of material. -> He can learn better.
school walk He can go to school on his own. He has to go a long we, so he needs means of transport. -> His family needs money to get him to school.


He meets Rowdy every day. He meets his new friends (Penelope, Gordy and Roger) every day. -> He has a different everyday life.

(written by: hohnrobe, webenikl, sobitobi, gaelrene)

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