Junior’s Largest Struggle

By Angelina Alexander

In Sherman Alexie’s, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior faces difficulties at every turn, but maintaining hope is his most constant and greatest struggle. From poverty to education to relentless discrimination, hurdles are continually attempting to dampen Junior’s spirit, he must push to keep his head held high. He fights for his rights, and an opportunity to lead a fulfilling life, all through the power of his hope- faith in the possibility of a better future fuels him. However, his hope is constantly fading away, much like a flimsy light bulb. The light fluctuates but it always returns, stubborn yet spirited. Junior’s hope drives him to transfer to Rearden, to withstand all hate, to try out for basketball, and most importantly, to stay alive. Junior’s hope motivates him, but with the horrible hand he’s been dealt, a hand filled with disadvantage and disability, maintaining his hope can be a struggle. Hope is sparse on his reservation; as a household fact, “white people” have the most hope, plain and simple (45). Everyone around him has “given up,” including his sister and her literary dream, his best friend and his temper, and his dad and his addictions (42). Junior has a difficult life, at points he feels “so weak,” but he continues to hope, which is his greatest strength yet his greatest struggle (41).


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