Study Guide

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Chapter 24

By Sherman Alexie

Chapter 24

Valentine Heart

  • Right around Valentine's Day, Eugene, Arnold's dad's best friend, is shot in the face in the parking lot of a 7-11.
  • Eugene was drunk, and so was his friend Bobby, who was wasted and accidentally pulled the trigger. (The police think they were fighting over the last drink of a bottle of wine.)
  • Bobby hung himself in jail a few weeks later.
  • Arnold's dad goes on a drinking binge, while Junior gets mad at God and Jesus and draws cartoons about it (fig 24.3).
  • Gordy introduces Arnold to Euripides' Greek tragedy Medea as a way of understanding grief and loss.
  • Arnold becomes depressed and misses a bunch of school. When he returns to social studies class, the teacher, Mrs. Jeremy, makes a sarcastic comment about Arnold deigning to show up. She tells him he shouldn't be missing this much class.
  • In Arnold's defense, Gordy stands up and drops his textbook on the floor. Then Penelope does. And then Roger does. And then everyone does. Then they all walk out of the room.
  • All Arnold can do is laugh. He delivers a pretty good line to Mrs. Jeremy about the world being broken down into two tribes: assholes and not assholes. And then he walks out too.
  • He finally has hope again.
  • Arnold makes lists to keep joy in his life. He makes a list of people who give him joy, of musicians who make joyous music, his favorite foods, books, and his favorite basketball players.
  • Arnold keeps making joy lists. He keeps drawing cartoons, and he keeps writing. It gives him joy and helps him grieve.