How does Poverty shape you? “Found Poem”

How does poverty shape you? In the novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie creates a setting that shapes the protagonist, Junior – a character living in poverty.

Alexie portrays Junior as a “poor @$$ reservation kid living with a poor ass family.” In the setting, Indians are put down and treated as if they don’t deserve anything. Most Indians were “most likely…to get drunk and beat the s*** out of any available losers.” Junior was often bullied because he was special: “What kind of men beat up a fourteen-year-old boy?” Thirty-year-old men at the camp were beating him up for joy. This environment has shaped Junior into an unconfident person. Words like “worthless” and “stupid” and “nothing” emphasize what Junior felt about himself. He was also bullied because he was the only one in the reservation camp that still had hope. Mr. P once said to him, “you’re a bright and shining star, too … You’re the smartest kid in the school. And I don’t want you to fail. I don’t want you to fade away. You deserve better.” Junior wanted “the world to pay attention” to him so he decided to listen to Mr.P’s advice and go to a better school. At his new school, he had better education but he also faced many problems because he was “the only Indian.” He felt like “[he] was a freaky alien and there was absolutely no way to get home. Because of the setting of the book, Junior faced many different racist problems wherever he went.

3 thoughts on “How does Poverty shape you? “Found Poem”

  1. Hi Cher!
    First of all, In the sentence; “He was also bullied because he was the only one in the reservation camp that still had hope” I like how you mentioned that Junior was the only person in the rez who still had hope because I think that portrays how differently Junior is from everybody else in his school. I think your paragraph relates to the book Wonder, which is a story about a boy named August, who has a disease that causes his face to be different from others’ faces. Do you think that the fact that Junior was affected by racism relates to his society?

  2. Hi Cher!
    First of all, In the sentence; “He was also bullied because he was the only one in the reservation camp that still had hope” I like how you mentioned that Junior was the only person in the rez who still had hope because I think that portrays how differently Junior is from everybody else in his school. I think your paragraph relates to the book Wonder, which is a story about a boy named August, who has a disease that causes his face to be different from others’ faces. Do you think that the fact that Junior was affected by racism relates to his society?

  3. Hey Cher,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post and the multiple text-to-world examples that you portrayed about how setting affects characterization. I really liked how you had many different and contrasting effects that the setting has had on the protagonist, Junior. You mentioned how the environment that Junior lives in makes him feel “worthless and stupid”. However, this has also driven him to persevere and “still [have] hope” despite all odds. These situations are part of much larger things that many people around the world have to go through everyday, especially as a result of poverty, a concept that your blog post also emphasized on frequently.
    In your last sentence, you brought up that Junior has faced many racist problems wherever he went. However, are all of the problems that Junior has faced a result of just racism, or is it part of a bigger picture?
    -Will Z

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