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.”