Character Arcs Essay

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When you step back and look at the modern literature, you begin to see that the character arc is an essential aspect of just about any story. Without the characters undergoing some kind of transformation from beginning to end, there would be little point in writing or reading fiction (or nonfiction, for that matter). Seeing a character that we care for undergo life-changing experiences - be it a personal loss, a test of will or strength, or an old relative keeling over and leaving them some abhorrent amount of cash - and emerge changed because of it makes the story both life-affirming and relatable. In my current AIR book, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, the main character, Arnold Spirit (more commonly, Junior), goes through many huge moments throughout the novel, as he is shaped into the “part-time Indian” that he considers himself. In the beginning of the story, we meet Junior, a fourteen year old hydrocephalic (“water on the brain”) Indian child living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. His condition left him with multiple physical and mental problems, such as his larger-than-average head (hence the nickname “globe”), poor eyesight, a lisp and stutter, and being prone to seizures. For this, he is mistreated constantly by the others on the reservation; “Everybody on the rez calls me a retard about twice a day. They call me retard when they are pantsing me or stuffing my head in the toilet or just smacking me upside the head.” This causes Junior to have a tendency to stay at home, which is where he reads and hones his drawing skills. However, home isn’t such a great place for him either, considering his poverty. This poverty brought about the death of his dog Oscar, as well as his lack of proper transportation to school. This poverty is not limited to his home however. His whole reservation, including his school, is

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