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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

Analysis: Writing Style

Words…and Pictures!

Sherman Alexie's writing style is lively and exuberant, and his narrator, the teenage Arnold, leaps from one topic to the next. So what do we get in between those leaps? Why pictures, of course!

Ellen Forney's many illustrations offer comical insight into whatever Arnold is experiencing at the moment. Forney uses three different drawing styles for Arnold's pictures: one in which the comics are scribbled, one in which the cartoons look a bit more realistic, and a third style that has a more finished look.

Can you identify which style is which? For an example of the first style, see figure 1.2. For the second, see 24.2. For the third, see figure 15.5. What can each drawing style tells us about the picture's subject matter?

Also: what is the relationship in this book between words and text? Do the pictures sometimes tell you things that Arnold's words cannot? If so, what?

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