The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Irony

Roger calling Junior an animal

After Roger insults Junior by saying "the most racist thing [Junior has] ever heard in [his] life" (64), Junior retaliates by punching Roger in the face. Roger is shocked and slinks away, calling Junior "an animal." However, Roger's fear is ironic because Roger is the one who has exhibited a startling lack of empathy in making such racist comments, while Junior is simply trying to stand up for himself. 



Junior dressing as a homeless person for Halloween

Junior dresses as a homeless person on Halloween. He jokes ironically, "there's not much difference between my good and bad clothes, so I pretty much look half-homeless anyway" (77). Penelope, who does not come from a poor family, dresses as a homeless person as well. She is doing so in order to raise awareness about the treatment of homeless people in across the country. What she does not realize is that Junior, a person she has made fun of in the past, comes from a very meager background. She is saddened by the reality of vast problem but cannot the problems that are right in front of her face. 

Junior wearing his father's suit

Junior is embarassed that he has to wear his father's old polyester suit to the Winter Formal. "I was worried that people would make fun of me..." (122). However, his Reardan classmates are thrilled when they see Junior's outdated clothes. They don't know that he has no other option, and believe that he is making a retro style statement. It is ironic that while Junior is nervous about putting his family's financial situation on display, the fact that he is different actually elevates his social standing at Reardan. 

Grandmother Spirit's Death

Grandmother Spirit, Junior's maternal grandmother, is killed by a drunk driver. Junior points out that "plenty of Indians died because they were drunk. And plenty of drunken Indians have killed other drunken Indians." The sad irony is, however, that Grandmother Spirit "had never drunk alcohol in her life. Not one drop." (159).