81 pages 2 hours read

Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2007

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Chapters 16-18

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 16 Summary: “Rowdy Gives Me Some Advice About Love”

While watching Penelope play in a volleyball game, Junior notes how beautiful she is, especially her white outfit and white skin, comparing her to “the most perfect kind of vanilla dessert cake” (114). Junior emails Rowdy asking for advice on what to do about falling in love with a White girl. Rowdy calls Junior an “asshole” and says he’s sick of “Indian guys who treat white women like bowling trophies” (115). Junior asks Gordy the same question, and a few days later, Gordy tells Junior about an article written about a White girl named Cynthia who disappeared in Mexico. The author of the article notes that Cynthia’s disappearance received far more coverage than the disappearances of 200 Mexican girls from the same area, and the author argues it’s because White girls are privileged. Junior is confused about Gordy’s meaning, and Gordy tells Junior that he is “a racist asshole like everyone else” (116). Junior notes that Gordy and Rowdy are both tough in their own ways.

Chapter 17 Summary: “Dance, Dance, Dance”

Travelling between Reardan and Wellpinit makes Junior feel like a stranger, half White in one place and half Indian in the other. Being an Indian begins to feel like working a low-paying part-time job.