Can Prejudice Be Overcome?

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

Central Question

Unfortunately, I don't think us as humans can overcome prejudice. I think we're all too selfish and judgemental to be able to except everyone the way they are. In my novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, the main character Junior, was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid inside his skull, and that caused his head to be bigger than normal, and the surgeries for it caused him to be near-sighted in one eye, and far-sighted in the other. By the time he was 3 years old he's been wearing glasses and because of that he was teased about looking like a little Indian grandpa. On the other hand he had an abnormally big head, so kids either called him orbit, or globe. Its sad that even kids as young as 8 judge or bully other kids. Its not his fault he has deficiencies, and he's probably already self-concious about it, and other kids making fun of him obviously doesn't make it any better.

Quote #1

"Our White Dentist believed that Indians only felt half as much pain as white people did, so he only gave us half the Novocain."

I think that the main character is definitely a victim in this situation. He was born with 42 teeth, when humans are only supposed to have 32, so he needed to get 10 pulled in order to talk and eat properly. when he went to get them pulled he had to get all 10 at one time and because he's Native the dentist only gave him half the Novocain as he gives his white patients.

Quote #2

"No matter how much I didn't want to. I have to forgive you. its the only think that keeps me from smacking you with an ugly stick. when I first started here, that's what we did to the rowdy ones, you know? we beat them. that's how we were taught to teach you."

I think in this case its an agent of change because Mr. P was explaining how that's how they used to teach. Now they would never hit them. I don't understand why people would ever be taught to hit Indian children to discipline them.

Quote #3

"My mother and father were working hard for me, too. They were constantly scraping together enough money to pay for gas, to get me lunch money, to buy me a new pair of jeans and a few new shirts. My parents gave me just enough money so that I could pretend to have more money than I did."

In this situation I think Junior is a victim. If people weren't so judgemental, then he wouldn't have to pretend not to be poor. If anything people should be trying to help him out, not completely ignore him because of it. I wonder if that will change later in the book?

Piece of evidence #1

"Fist punch.
Foot crunch.
Hand hit.
Mouth spit.
Eye swells.
Can’t see.
Let me be.

Rips my homework.
Steals my money.
Grabs my lunch.
Thinks it’s funny

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

…but names can really hurt.

Through the doors.
Up the stairs.
Face is bloody.
No one cares.

In the washroom.
Clean up the mess.
I’ll be safe
Until … recess…"

I chose this quote because this is the basically a day in the life of a victim of bullying. In the novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, the main character got bullied or beat up a lot at school and this quote is probably how I would describe it. Bullying is a huge problem in the world today, not only toward Natives, but everyone.

Piece of evidence #2

"First Nations; Moving Forward" By Vanessa York.

-In 1876 a law called the Indian act was passed.

  • Gave First Nations more power/rights
  • could choose what was bought and sold on the Reservation
  • Had great control over reservation after law was passed

I chose this for my second piece of evidence because I think this was the first step of starting to overcome prejudice towards First Nations. its sad that that's kind of where it stopped. Yes Native's may have control over their land/Reservation, but that doesn't change the fact that people still look at them as an outsider, or as different. Racism toward them is still happening today, and sadly probably always will.

Piece of evidence #3

..."People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
Help me understand
Now you're punching and you're kicking
And you're shouting at me
I'm relying on your common decency
So far it hasn't surfaced
But I'm sure it exists
It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fist
I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand"..

I chose this song called "People are People" by Depeche Mode because its about how were all people and how it doesn't make sense how one person can hate another person because of the color of their skin or because of a religion they practice that may be different than yours.

Big image
The reason i chose this picture is because in the novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie the main character Junior switched to a "rich white people school" and other Natives did not like that at all. They would all judge him because of it, when they had no idea what it was like going there instead of to the school on the rez. Just because he wanted to go to a better taught school that happened to be a "white people" school doesn't mean that he "loved" white people, and didn't like Indians anymore. He was accepting to everyone, as not everyone was as accepting to him, until he got a girl.

In the book as well as still today, i feel like if you want to be liked and accepted by everyone, you have to be "popular". Life in school is basically a popularity contest, and it sucks. Just because you don't dress like everyone else does, or listen to the same music as them, etc. doesn't mean you all cant be friends, and be accepted by everyone else.