Opinionated! (page 64 [some versions])
Do you agree with Alexie* that in order to make his point, he had to use words that would offend some people?
Racial slurs are never okay to say unless that’s your race. In this case, Alexie* is using it to make a character seem evil, disgusting and mean. This quote shows how much Junior had to deal with. I think it’s okay to use this word in this case because it represents/shows what Junior went through and how he was a good person and defended people (by punching, instead of using words…not the ideal,) that weren’t able to be there. I think that the fact that the person who said it was portrayed to be a mean character was something that made it seem okay to say. I am not African or African American, so I can’t rightfully say that it’s okay or not okay because I’ve never had that experience…it just wouldn’t be fair.
How do these words relate to the rest of the novel?
This quote shows how people acted and showed their feelings toward Junior. This is like the rest of the book when people said something racist to Junior; except this time it was also against another group of people.
What do you think about the fact that one version on the book doesn’t include this language?
I think that it’s good to have two different versions. In my book (my actual book, not just the saying,) it didn’t actually say the n-word but it said, “And then Roger told me a joke involving Indians, African Americans, and buffalo that was the most racist, disgusting and evil thing I’d ever heard.” (Page 64.) Oh look! The author and I worded it the same… So I think it’s good to have two versions because some people will get offended. You can basically get the point, what words were probably used, and the mood setting from just reading the less-harsh version.
Some students walked out while Sherman Alexie was reading his book to children.
I think it’s totally okay that they did that. Again, I am not African, or African American or…etc. (so many mixes,) so I cannot know exactly how it feels. But to think that that word would come out of the mouth of someone who is not, (African etc. [again, so many mixes]) is just…unsettling. So I think he probably shouldn’t have said that out loud to those students.
*Alexie is Sherman Alexie, the author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
Thanks for reading! 🙂 Please check out some of my other posts to get good reading suggestions. Feel free to comment below!