| Quote #4
"Why are you leaving?"
"I have to go. I'm going to die if I don't leave."
I touched his shoulder again and Rowdy flinched.
Yes, I touched him again.
What kind of idiot was I?
I was the kind of idiot that got punched hard in the face by his best friend.
Bang! Rowdy punched me.
Bang! I hit the ground.
Bang! My nose bled like a firework. (7.64-7.72)
Arnold tells Rowdy that he is leaving the reservation. He asks Rowdy to come with him, but Rowdy refuses. Why? And why does Rowdy punch Arnold?
| Quote #5
I wished Rowdy was still my friend. I could have sent him after Roger. It would have been like King Kong battling Godzilla.
I realized how much of my self-worth, my sense of safety, was based on Rowdy's fists.
But Rowdy hated me. And Roger hated me.
I was good at being hated by guys who could kick my ass. It's not a talent you really want to have. (9.3-9.6)
At the high school in Reardan, Arnold must learn to function without the protection of Rowdy. He must learn to fight his own battles. Do you think Arnold is better off standing up for himself?
| Quote #6
And so we did become friends. Not the best of friends. Not like Rowdy and me. We didn't share secrets. Or dreams.
No, we studied together.
Gordy taught me how to study.
Best of all, he taught me how to read. (12.170-12.173)
Arnold befriends Reardan High School's resident boy genius: Gordy. Gordy teaches Arnold a number of things, including how to read, how to study, and how to embrace the joy of knowledge. How is Junior's friendship with Gordy different from his friendship with Rowdy?