The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Hopes, Dreams, and Plans Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations for the text follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph); for art and illustrations: (Chapter.Illustration)
My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from. That is absolutely saddest thing in the world.
And let me tell you, that old, old, old decrepit geometry book hit my heart with the force of a nuclear bomb. My hopes and dreams floated up in a mushroom cloud. What do you do when the world has declared nuclear war on you? (4.57-4.58)
Arnold finds his mother's name written in his geometry book, and his heart just breaks. Knowing that his school can't buy new books crushes Arnold's hopes and dreams. How would you feel if you were in Arnold's shoes? What would you do?
"Why don't you quit talking in dreams and tell me what you really want to do with your life, I said. "Make it simple."
"I want to go to Stanford and study architecture."
"Wow, that's cool," I said. "But why architecture?"
"Because I want to build something beautiful. Because I want to be remembered."
And I couldn't make fun of her for that dream. It was my dream, too. And Indian boys weren't supposed to dream like that. And white girls from small towns weren't supposed to dream big, either. (15.100-15.104)
Though they come from very different worlds, Penelope and Arnold are both dreamers. They long to leave their homes and make a better life for themselves. Why does Penelope see Reardan in the same way that Arnold sees Wellpinit?
"Your mother was thirteen and I was five when we first met. And guess how we first met?"
"She helped me get a drink from a water fountain."
"Well, that just seems sort of gross," I said.
"I was tiny," Dad said. "And she boosted me up so I could get a drink. And imagine, all these years later and we're married and have two kids."
"What does this have to do with basketball?"
"You have to dream big to get big."
"That's pretty dang optimistic of you, Dad."
"Well, you know, our mother helped me get a drink from the water fountain last night, if you know what I mean." (20.9-20.17)
Though Arnold's family has problems, his Dad is always encouraging. He is even a little optimistic here, pushing his son to dream big. Is optimism important in order for us to accomplish our dreams?