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Wajid Ishtiaq
Mr. Halstead
English – 10A Period 4
28 January 2021
Part Time Indian Final Argumentative Essay
Arnold is a fighter, and even with the odds stacked against him he continues to
fight for his education even if that means losing friends and leaving Wellpinit to go to
Reardan.
Arnold is such a fighter that he throws a textbook straight in his geometry
teachers face. Arnold does this after realizing that the textbook he is holding is so old that
his parent’s. names are in it. This is the fighting spirit that makes Mr. P, the geometry
teacher take a special interest in Arnold. After the incident Mr. P delivers one of the most
important speeches in the novel to Arnold, which motivates him to finally pursue his
education at whatever cost and attend Rearden.
"You've been fighting since you were born," he said. "You fought off that brain
surgery. You fought off those seizures. You fought off all the drunks and drug addicts.
You kept your hope. And now, you have to take your hope and go somewhere where other
people have hope." (43) I believe this speech was the most important in the novel because
it’s what made Arnold really realize that he has no hope of achieving his dreams if he
stays at Wellpinit. Even though it seemed impossible for a poor Indian kid to attend
Reardan Mr. P convinced Arnold to keep on fighting for his education, so he doesn’t end
up like everyone else Mr. P has taught over the years. Next, when Arnold gets to Reardan
he must fight harder for his education and his honor then his has had to.
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Arnold just will not quit, and it is one of the major keys to his survival, from surviving
brain surgeries as child to fights on the reservation as a teen. Arnolds knows that at
Reardan he won’t be accepted but he’s ready to fight for his education if not to win it at
least to show people that he has what it takes. “Did you know that Indians are living
proof that niggers fuck buffalo?” (64) When Roger insulted Arnold, he knew that if
Roger were allowed get away with it the harassment would never cease. “I couldn’t let
them away with that shit. I wasn’t just defending myself. I was defending Indians, black
people, and buffalo. So I punched Roger in the face. He wasn’t laughing when he landed
on his ass. And he wasn’t laughing when his nose bled like red fireworks.” This shows us
that even when Arnold has all the odds stacked against him, he doesn’t back down. Roger
was bigger and had his crew with him, yet Arnold still stands his ground! Without this
kind of fighting spirit Arnold would have just ended up getting stuck at the reservation
but he fought and attended Reardan to further his education. Arnold is a fighter, and he
continues to fight for his education but also, he fights to prove those who thought he
would never succeed that they were wrong.
When Arnold decides to move to Rearden, he nearly seals his fate with Rowdy, but he
also makes new friends which comes as a surprise to him. When Arnold made the
decision to move to Reardan he knew that the entire tribe would turn against him, but the
most important person he would lose is his best friend Rowdy. Knowing that Rowdy
would never accept him moving to Rearden Arnold still tries to talk.
to him, even trying to convince Rowdy to move to Reardan with him! But deep down he
knows that no matter what he does the conversation will not end well.
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“Rowdy, I said. I am going to Reardan tomorrow. For the first time he saw that I
was serious, but he didn’t want me to be serious.” (51) Rowdy becomes so upset that he
proceeds to beat Arnold, the same kid he had spent so many years defending from others.
“I stayed on the ground for a long time after Rowdy walked away. I stupidly
hoped that time would stand still if I stayed still. But I had to stand eventually, and when I
did, I knew that my best friend had become my worst enemy.” (53) Even though Arnold
was going to lose his best friend and have the entire tribe see him as a traitor, he still
choses a better path. This shows is how influential Mr. P’s speech was and how
desperately Arnold wants to escape the cycle of being poor that the entire reservation was
stuck in. Arnold wanted to escape and have a chance at a better life, even if it meant
destroying his friendships. At Reardan Arnold ends up making new friends with kids who
seemingly do not like Indians and he even gets a white girlfriend. After Arnold attends
the winter formal with Penelope, he plans to go home but the upperclassmen decide to go
to eat out with Penelope and Arnold being her date doesn’t have much of a choice but to
go. Arnold being broke not being able to pay for the food unexpectedly receives help
from Roger, the racist privileged white kid who apparently doesn’t like Indians.
“Dude! Roger said. Man, don’t sweat it. You should have said something earlier I got
you covered. I got you covered. He opened his wallet and handed me forty bucks.” (126)
“And Roger, being of kind heart, generous pocket, and a little bit racist, drove me home
that night. And he drove me home plenty of other nights too. If you let people into your
life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.” Even after Arnold punching Roger in
front of all his friends, Roger still decides to become Arnolds friend and even lend him
$40. To us this may not seem like a lot but to Rowdy, a poor kid who grew up with
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sometimes only one meal per day it was like hitting the jackpot. Roger even gave him a
ride home that night and many other nights too. It’s surprising how sometimes you end
up becoming friends with people who you think hate you the most. This really teaches us
to give everyone a fair chance. Arnold does end up greatly hurting his friendship with
Rowdy greatly, but it gets him to Reardan where he has a chance to build a better future
and discover new friends. Arnold was 100% right in moving to Reardan even if it hurt his
friendships because if he had not, he would of just ben stuck in the same loop of being
poor like his parents and their parents before them.
We should all fight to better our lives like Arnold fought to better his, even it
means sacrificing our relationships.
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