Analysis of the Abuse of Alcohol in the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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“All excess is ill, but drunkenness is of the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind, and unmans men”, (William Penn a preacher, minister, and missionary in the late seventeenth century). In The Absolutely True diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexies shows us how alcohol abuse affects Junior's life, how painful it is to deal with the effect, and how it leads to violence and death of the ones he loves. Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people and it isn't different for Indians as we see in every other page of this novel. To understand why alcoholism is a disease, it's important to look up it's effects. Many tribal people drink to numb themselves, to escape their personal, social and family problems. Instead of helping these Indians, alcohol creates more problems. Beginning with the denial, for example, Junior's father always says, “I am only an alcoholic when I am drunk” (107). Junior believes it has to do with depression, when he says, “I suppose he is depressed” and “I suppose the whole family is depressed” (40). He realizes that when he says, “we all look for ways to make the pain go away” (107). Some people that suffer from depression lock themselves in either the basement or “run away to get drunk” (150), like his sister and father. According to Junior everyone is depressed in the Rez, that is the reason why so many Indians become alcoholics, to flush away their pain. Junior's father “drinks his pain away” (107). Junior concludes, the Indians drink to feel better, but on the contrary, they sink deeper and deeper into sadness, “all Indian families are unhappy for the same reason: the fricking booze” (200). As we have seen in this novel, alcohol encourages aggression and violence in the family. There are numerous examples of violence related to Junior's best friend, Rowdy, whose father is an alcoholic. Often Rowdy appears with

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