AO2 Q. How does the writer describe the thoughts and feelings of the characters? Support your answer with reference to the passage and short quotations. By Alina Ahmed


This extract “Telling Rowdy” is taken from “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” written by Sherman Alexie. This is about Junior, a fourteen-year-old boy who decides to leave the reservation and attend Reardon. Before leaving, he has a falling out with his best friend. The genre is fiction, specifically realistic fiction. The audience is young adults, adults, people interested in the history of native Americans and those who can relate to the natives. The purpose of this passage is to entertain. Its themes are friendship, aspirations, hope and betrayal. The tone of the passage is informal with colloquial language. In this extract, Junior is going to Reardon and leaving his best friend behind. Hence, his best friend becomes his worst enemy after everything they went through together.

The tone of the passage is determined and serious at first as Junior describes the Reardon. He says, “They were beautiful, and smart and epic. They were filled with hope.” He describes them with words like ‘magnificent’. This shows how envious he is of the white kids, how much he looks up to them. Junior is determined to be as ‘smart’ and ‘epic’ as them. The tone of the passage changes to sober when Junior tells Rowdy he is leaving. He says “I’m doing it……I’m going to Reardon tomorrow.” This shows how serious he is about leaving. But Rowdy does not believe him as he says, “You’ll never do it.” Soon the tone changes from serious to painful and the mood in the passage becomes dramatic. For instance, Rowdy shouts at him, “Don’t touch me, you idiot!” And both of the friends started crying. This reveals the pain they both are in as they are separating after being together for fourteen years. Rowdy becomes very angry. This sets a more sorrowful tone and heartbroken mood as Rowdy screams which is described as “worst thing I’d ever heard.” It is clear in the extract that Rowdy is hurt by Juniors decision. He says “You always thought you were better than me.” This sheds light on Rowdy’s anger, pain, and feeling of betrayal. There is hope in Junior’s tone when he says they can still be friends but it is crushed when Rowdy said nothing. The tine of the passage turns into desperation as Junior explains, “I’m going to die

if I don’t leave.” It is imperative for Junior to go because if he doesn’t all his hopes and dreams will die and h will not get what he deserves. There is a dramatic twist when Rowdy punches Junior three times as said in the extract. Rowdy is living in the past while Junior is trying to move on. But in this process he lost his best friend as it says “My best friend had become my worst enemy.”

In the passage there is evidence of the theme friendship, it says “fourteen pieces, one for each year that Rowdy and I had been friends.” This proves they had been friends for a very long time. The passage says “hope for me is like some mystical creature.” And “filled with hope.” This gives light to the theme of hope. Aspirations with the statement “I was scared of those Reardon kids.” This shows how he wants to be like them and his respect for them. The main theme, betrayal, is reveled when Rowdy says, “Why are you leaving” and when Rowdy screams and cries. These show his pain and feelings of being betrayed by his best friend.

There is figurative language in this extract. Similes like “I’m as serious as a tumor” and “my nose bled like a firework,” emphasize on Junior’s point. First he emphasizes on how serious he is about leaving and then describing his pain as his nose bled. Metaphors are used to emphasize his feeling. For example, “My heart broke into fourteen pieces.” This reveals how full of sadness he was. There is colloquial language as it is an informal passage. Words like “idiot”, “wuss” and “rez” show casual words used in the extract.

In conclusion, Junior is determined to go to Reardon where he can flourish but Rowdy feels betrayed by his decision. The extract displays a great friendship which is reduced to broken bits after one fight. There are many emotions in the passage. In the end, even your best friend can become your worst nightmare.

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 or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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