We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Themes

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Themes

Identity

Arnold starts The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian feeling like the reservation outcast, but once he transfers to the fancy white school in Reardan, he becomes a basketball star who ge...

Home

Sherman Alexie dedicates The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to his two hometowns: Wellpinit and Reardan. Like Alexie, Arnold Spirit, Jr. has two hometowns as well. There is his famil...

Race

Race is a pretty huge deal for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Why? Because it gives Arnold Spirit, Jr. a good deal of trouble in his search for self. Arnold feel like he's only...

Poverty

One of the most compelling aspects of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is that we see firsthand how devastating and totally awful poverty is not only for an individual, but for an...

Literature and Writing

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a novel that explores the many different relationships people have to literature and writing. For Arnold, writing and drawing become a means of...

Mortality

Though our narrator Arnold Spirit is only fourteen years of age, he is confronted with the death of his loved ones over and over and over again. For Arnold, death is pretty much relentless, and c...

Friendship

Arnold's main friend – and only friend – on the reservation in Wellpinit is Rowdy. Once he moves to Reardan, though, he becomes friends with a whole host of people: Penelope, Gordy, Roger, ev...

Hopes, Dreams, and Plans

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a novel about hope, and how important it is to have it and how it helps us stay afloat. In this novel, we see the consequences of people and eve...

Education

Reardan High School is a wonderland of chemistry labs, brand new basketball courts, and computer labs. The place is a regular learning hotspot. Arnold leaves the reservation to get a better educa...

Tradition and Custom

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Arnold comes from the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, a place built on tradition and custom. Arnold describes his culture...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...