DiFFERENT: Found Poem

Found Poem

“If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.” – Jesse Jackson

Sometimes life is unfair and cruel, but it’s especially challenging to grow up in a safe world when you live on a reservation. In the fiction novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie creates a realistic setting that influences who the protagonist becomes – a character who has his mind set on being noticed and fitting in. Throughout the book, Alexie continues to develop a believable, round character named Junior. The setting is first introduced as an Indian Reservation when Alexie states, “I went to the Indian Health Service” (Alexie 2) to have his teeth pulled. This leads to how the protagonist acknowledges he is in poverty because he is a “poor-*** reservation kid living with his poor-*** family on a “poor-*** Spokane Indian Reservation” (Alexie 7). Phrases like “everybody calls me a ****** on the rez”, “sure I want to go outside. Every kid wants to go outside. But it’s safer to stay home.”, and “mostly hang out alone in my bedroom and read books and draw cartoons” emphasizes that the protagonist is bullied into believing he is a loner and therefore sees himself as weak. Furthermore, the character draws to escape his pain: “So I draw because I want to talk to the world. And I want the world to pay attention to me.” (Alexie 6). He is born into poverty, believing along with everyone else that giving up hope is the best thing for them: “All these kids have given up…all your friends. All the bullies. And their mothers and fathers have given up, too. And their grandparents gave up and their grandparents before them. And me and every other teacher here. We’re all defeated.”


  1. I really like how you integrated a variety of quotes of different types. I also liked how you weren’t afraid of using quotes with profanity, as it shows the personality of the protagonist. The quote you began with is also quite inspirational yet still related, it really draws the reader in. These traits also connect to many of the people currently residing in this world, as I’m sure many people suffer from the same situations. What do you think you might have done if you were in his shoes?

  2. I liked how you used the quote : “If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.” as your hook because it really gave me an insight to what you were going to write about. Your blog post connects to the world as it emphasizes the determination in people in reservations around the world. How they are too living in below average conditions but are still working hard to improve their future. After reading more into the book, how do you think Reardan will impact Junior as a character further more? Do you think other characters will follow in his path?

  3. First of all, I really like the quote you used to hook the audience, it is sure a strong quote that relates to Junior’s personality. I also really like how you explained the character simply but effectively. The idea of Junior being poor and a kid who is part of the rez that just wants to escape society I think is very well presented through the quotes you used. Although the idea of poverty isn’t relevant to us, I think the fact that Junior wants to escape reflect us some of the time. I personally have moments when I want to escape reality. I would like to leave you with a question. If you were Junior, how would you escape from the rez, and what would you do to make yourself happier?

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