‘AO2: Telling Rowdy’ by Ayesha Budhwal


‘Telling Rowdy’ is an extract taken from “The absolutely true diary of a part time Indian”, written by Sherman Alexie. This extract revolves around Junoir, a boy who feels trapped on an Indian reservation, and his best friend Rowdy. The purpose of this passage is to entertain and besides that to, to draw attention to the hard life of a Native American child living in a Reservation. It is an account using first person point of view of Junior. This extract was written for young adults, children, or whoever is interested in reading fiction.

The tone of the passage is informal as Rowdy uses informal vocabulary words, other than that the tone is sad, even though Junior did not want to leave his best friend he could not stay in the reservation either

The main theme of the passage depicts the strong bond of friendship between Rowdy and Junior. The other theme of the passage is hope, hope of having a better future at Reardon which Junior never gave up on. The fact that Junior was the only kid on the Rez what had read “The tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens, shows that the schools at Rez lacked education and resources. The narrator makes a comparison between the kids at the Rez and the ones at Reardon, Junior says in his account that,”They were beautiful and smart and epic”. The kids at the Rez were drowned in poverty, and deprived of the basic necessities and opportunities of life, where as the kids at Reardon were the most privileged and more affluent, Junior uses adjectives like “smart” “epic” and “filled with hope”. This showed that the white kids were superior to those at Rez.

Junior uses a simile for hope to show how unreal it is for him, “like a mythical creature”. When Rowdy heard that Junior was leaving he couldn’t believe it. Junior wanted to change his life and upgrade his status, but Rowdy was not ready to accept that, and became angry. There was element of disbelief and shock present in the passage. Junior uses a hyperbole to express his seriousness about leaving, he says “I am as serious as a tumour”. Rowdy was very angry, the mere thought of losing Junior was quite disturbing for him. Junior say “My heart broke into 14 pieces , one for each year that Rowdy and I had spent together”, to reveal the strong bond of friendship that existed between them.

Junior is the protagonist of the passage and Rowdy is the antagonist, as he opposes Junior. Then Junior uses alliteration to emphasise pain and agony he felt, “Pain pure pain”. There was an element of negativity present in the later part of the extract, the comparison Rowdy made between Junior and the kids at Reardon, discriminating his best friend, show his negative thoughts. He exceeds his limits to stop his friend, he even beets him hard. Sound words were used to emphasise the situation and to show the severity with which he punched his best friend, “Bang”, “Bang”. Junior lay on the ground with the false perception that if he stayed still everything would turn back to normal, which obviously did not happen. Ironically his best friend became his worst enemy. The main conflict was whether or not would Junior and Rowdy be able to restore their friendship.
Junior describes how living on a reservation makes Indians lose hope, no one believes in them enough to support their ambitions. Junior is desperate to leave and break out of this poverty and the situation motivates him to leave. Junior is realistic about the fact that living on the Rez deprives him of many opportunities and he is extremely motivated to leave it and, start a new and better life at the Reardon.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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