Racism at Rearden High School by Audrey

Racism and stereo types were a big part in The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie. A book, about an American-Indian boy living on a reservation where he doesn’t totally fit in, because of his physical condition. This boy Junior, decided to switch schools outside the reservation, where he now didn’t fit in because of his race. Junior experiences racism throughout the novel, but especially mostly at Rearden. Junior switched schools, from the school on the reservation to, Rearden. Rearden was a white school 22 miles away from the reservation.

There are many examples of racism Junior experienced in The Absolute True Diary Of A Part Time Indian. Starting off where Junior even enters to school, and people stared shocked. The only other Indian in, or associated with Rearden was their school mascot.

Even stating his name Junior, smirks and laughter filled the classroom. On page 60 the text states:

“They both laughed. Word spread around the room and pretty soon everybody was laughing. They were laughing at my name. I had no idea junior was a weird name. It’s a common name on my rez, on any rez. You walk into a trading post on any rez in the United States and shout, “Hey Junior!” and seventeen guys will turn around. And three women”

The students even observed the way he spoke. Junior saying on page 60

“And yes, I had that stutter and a lisp, but I also had a sing song reservation accent that made everything sound like a bad poem.”

Sadly racism in Rearden doesn’t end for Junior. As he puts it, “a few Rearden boys, the big jocks, who paid special attention to him.” On page 63 there is even a picture of Junior being bullied by these larger boys. Soon after name calling wasn’t enough, and they even decided to use racial slurs and insults.

page 63

The students were not the only ones who were racist. The geology teacher, Mr. Dodge was mad and angered at Junior’s shy and modest correction that petrified wood was not wood. Mr. Dodge accused him of lying, and was disrespectful about the reservation. Yet when a smart white kid named Gordy, confirms that Junior is correct he is praised. Mr. Dodge is not the only adult who shows racism in this book, there is also Penelope’s father. Penelope’s father says on page 109,

“she is only dating you because she knows it will piss me off.”

Later he even makes a racist comment on Junior’s skin tone.

Racism was undoubtedly a common theme all throughout The Absolute True Diary Of A Part Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie especially in the scenes located at Rearden. Reading about Junior’s experience can be beneficial to anyone. It teaches you about some racist things, American-Indians have to deal with. How unfair it is to them, and how we need to start to change.


5 thoughts on “Racism at Rearden High School by Audrey

  1. Dear Audrey,
    I really enjoyed that you took quotes from the book, this really helped me understand what you were trying to say. I think that it would be helpful to me and other readers that if you explain your opinion about the racism and how you feel about the stereotypes. I really enjoyed this, great job!


  2. Dear Audrey,
    Your blog makes a lot of sense, is really well written, and I really like it. This is just my opinion, but next time I would just not hyperlink the title of the every time it comes up. Do you think that they are being racist to anyone else at Rearden? I like how you put quotes from the book in your blog.


  3. Audrey,

    Your Blog post was very interesting, and it put not just the book, but racism as a whole into the spotlight. However, as the other comments have pointed out, I did sadly come across quite a few grammatical errors that if fixed could really make this post shine. Just a suggestion. However, I did really enjoy your callbacks to the book about the different points when racism happens. It really opened my mind to how books can show racism, and the rest of your post just magnified it. Overall, a good blog post, but maybe a few fixes here and there could make it into a great one.



  4. Audrey, I really enjoyed your blog post. I however think that you have many grammatical errors, if you fixed these, the post would be really good. I liked how you you used pictures and quotes to bring your point across. The book really did show racism in the way you showed it! I really was inspired by your post! If you make these changes, it would be a really great post!



  5. Audrey,

    I really enjoyed your blog posts and the examples you gave. One suggestion is how do these acts of racism compare to the world we live in today? You really showed the stereotypes and acts of racism in your blog post, I think if you compare the book to today’s world it would be really good. Great Job!


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