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Analysis of “Indian Education” by Sherman Alexie

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“Indian Education” Sherman Alexie

On the surface, the selection “Indian Education,” by Sherman Alexie, is a brief summary of Alexie’s school experience as a minor. However, as the audience reads the selection, it becomes clear that there is something nebulous about Alexie’s school experience that most people would hardly understand: he spends most of his school years on an Indian reservation. Alexie assembles his indian education summary short story in categories, with a grade for each section. In a manner reminiscent to journal entries or flashbacks, Alexie imbues his memoirs with melancholy. He recollects upon anguishing memories, such as when he is being chased by bullies and “they pushed [him] down, buried [him] in the snow until [he] couldn’t breathe,” (Alexie, 1). He recalls unpleasant instructors who “made [him stand straight for fifteen minutes, eagle-armed with books in each hand…but all [he] learned was that gravity can be painful,” (Alexie, 1). He also paints unnerving pictures of broken families, eating disorders, and suicide. These graphic representations are meant to shake the reader’s core and evoke a deep sense of sympathy. It connects the reader with Alexie to feel his pain, even though they have never met him and probably have never had these experiences before. This evocation of emotion is the keystone to Alexie’s purpose of the story; the tone wins the reader over.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian Sparknotes

It makes the reader wonder why these unfortunate events are happening in the first place. The purpose on the other hand, is why Alexie wrote this selection, and that purpose is so that the reader will realize the immense immorality that is sectionalism and racism. Though in his story, Alexie is an Indian reservation resident and Indian reservations, no doubt, only exist due to racism from a “bygone” age, it is clear that there is racism within his community, as well. For example, in first grade, he was taunted as “Cries-Like-a-White-Boy, even though none of [them] had seen a white boy,” (Alexie, 1). In second grade, his white teacher “sent a letter home…that told [his] parents to either cut [his] braids or keep [him] home,” (Alexie, 2). In the seventh grade, he emphasizes how “no one spoke to [him] for another five hundred years,” (Alexie, 3) after he had kissed a white girl. As if these examples of racism were not bad enough, when he collapsed due to hunger and exhaustion in the ninth grade, his Chicano teacher assumed.

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