ATDPTI- A Closer Look on 3 Chapters and Their Significance

I chose these three chapters to write about, from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: Go Means Go, How To Fight Monsters, and Reindeer Games. All of these chapters are about having strength and courage, and showing how that leads to hope.

Background: Junior is an “Indian,” as he refers to himself, living on a Spokane reservation where there is virtually no hope.

Junior wants hope.


Go Means Go (pages 44-47)

In the chapter before this one, one of Junior’s teacher tells him that he, “‘…can’t give up. You won’t give up.” This teacher, Mr P., is able to get the point across to Junior that he needs to, “…add [his] hope to someone else’s hope. [He] had to multiply hope by hope.”

In the Go Means Go, Junior decides to go to a school outside of the reservation, in search of the hope that he knows he will find there.

Junior takes his teacher’s advice and looks for something greater, hope. He is going to go to Reardan, because go means go!!!


How to Fight Monsters (pages 54-66)

In this chapter, Junior goes to Reardan, and meets new people, not always in the best way.

The courage Junior has in this chapter is amazing, it’s the courage to go into that school…the school with hope, with rich, white children, Reardan. Junior describes the children there as, “the best.”

When Junior arrives at Reardan, he says to his dad when his dad suggests he go back to Wellpinit, (the school on the reservation,) “‘No,’ I said. ‘I have to do this.'” This shows Juniors amazing strength and steadfastness. Junior knows what he wants…he wants a better life.

When Junior finds himself in front of the doors at Reardan, he goes through, and his life changes.


Reindeer Games (pages 135-149)

This chapter is about Junior deciding to try out for his basketball team, getting on, and proving his courage and tenaciousness through a brutal game against the Wellpinit basketball team.

When Junior thinks about trying out for the basketball team, he is nervous, and tells himself that he can’t do it. “I didnt want to get cut from the team…didn’t think I could live through that humiliation.” But his father persuades him, and eventually, he tries out, seemingly fearless.

During his first game with Wellpinit, Junior gets stitches and a concussion. The kids on Wellpinit’s team are angry Junior left them, and they think that he thinks that he is better than his fellow “Indians,” because he is going to a school with rich, white kids; which happens to be the opposite of what he thinks. Because they are angry, the kids on the Wellpinit basketball team are very harsh with Junior, hence the concussion and the need for stitches.

Junior still plays after he gets his stitches, he only stops playing when he gets a concussion.


Junior always keeps trying. He keeps his hope alive, and he uses that hope to get more, until he has created a wall where sadness cannot get through.

Thanks For Reading! Please comment below if you have any questions, thoughts or ideas. 🙂


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