Study Guide

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Chapter 16

By Sherman Alexie

Chapter 16

Rowdy Gives Me Advice About Love

  • Arnold is at school watching the beautiful Penelope play volleyball, and it's just blowing his mind. Her skin is all "milky white" and Arnold is lusting after it big time (16.4).
  • He compares her to a vanilla cake and says he wants to be the "chocolate topping" (16.6). Wow.
  • Not knowing what to do with all these feelings, Arnold decides to email Rowdy. He writes: "I'm in love with a white girl. What should I do?" (16.17).
  • Rowdy responds promptly that he's sick of Indians who treat white women like "bowling trophies" and that Arnold should get a life (16.19).
  • Undeterred, Arnold decides to ask Gordy, who researches the topic via Google [search: "in love with a white girl" (16.24)] and returns to Arnold with a report on a girl named Cynthia who disappeared in Mexico last summer.
  • The article says that, while Cynthia's disappearance generated a lot of attention, tons of Mexican girls go missing and no one says anything. According to the article, people "care more about beautiful white girls than they do about everybody else on the planet. White girls are privileged" (26).
  • Basically, Gordy tells Arnold he is racist.
  • Arnold realizes Gordy is just as tough as Rowdy. In his own way, of course.