In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Arnold comes to face one of the hardest decisions in his life; stay on the reservation or attend an all-white school named Reardan. He knew that if he were to stay on the reservation that he would never become anything. On the other hand if he decided to go to Reardan he had the chance of becoming something in his life. So Arnold makes the decision to attend Reardan and goes out in search to find hope when he realizes that he can make something of himself instead of living in poverty forever. Even though he chose to go to Reardan there were still consequences. He would have to leave his best friend Rowdy behind as well as all of the other Indians. He knew that if he were to leave the reservation they would all hate him and see him as a traitor and so they did. As much as they all hated him for leaving, Arnold still had the decency ...view middle of the document...
Not turning around and going back meant that he was going to be very lonely at this new school and that he lost his best friend Rowdy.
The longer that Arnold attended Reardan he finally made a new friend named Gordy. One day they got into a conversation about how Arnold still lives on the reservation, but he goes to school at Reardan. Gordy could not understand why his tribe hated him so much and thought he was a traitor if he still lived on the reservation so Arnold explained to him that “Some Indians think that you have to act white to make your life better. Some Indians think you become white if you try to make your life better, if you become successful” (Alexie 131). Arnold could have easily started bad mouthing his tribe and told Gordy that they were all dumb for hating him, but he did not. He respected his tribe enough not to and explained to Gordy why they hated him in a reasonable manner.
Arnold was on the varsity basketball team as a freshman. The first game they played was against Wellpinit High School and they lost. Later on in the season they had the chance to redeem themselves however and they did. Everyone was cheering and was so excited that they one, but then Arnold looked over at his fellow Wellpinit Redskins. Even though he knew that they all hated him he started to feel bad for them still. He knew some were going to go home and have nothing to eat, he knew that some of them lived with drunken parents, and most importantly he knew that not any of them were going to attend college. Arnold could have gone over to the Redskins and rubbed it in all their faces, but he respected them and did not because he knew how hard their lives were already.
Throughout the whole novel Arnold showed a tremendous amount of respect towards his tribe even though they all hated him and saw him as a traitor. To Arnold, respect had a greater meaning. Instead of hating his tribe like they hated him, he just accepted the fact and he understood why they saw him as a traitor. Arnold’s acts of respect in this novel demonstrated how Alexie thinks we should respect our family and friends.