Relationships are complicated. Nonetheless, they are very important to all people, especially to Arnold Spirit Junior in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This paper will discuss the list of nine people who bring joy to Junior, compare them to characters found in “Smoke Signals”, also written by Alexie, examine the relationship between them and Junior, and theorize links between these stereotypes and their possible counterparts in “Smoke Signals”. This paper briefly compares Arnold Spirit Junior to Thomas Builds-The-Fire, and considers initial reactions to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian contrasted to revisited reactions after watching “Smoke Signals” and extended class discussions. Finally, the paper concludes with how these texts have affected my relationship with an Aboriginal student from the perspective of a volunteer teacher.
9 People Who Bring Me Joy