The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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Mom Character Analysis

Junior’s mother. An avid reader with an extraordinary memory for information, she would have gone to college if given the chance. Mom is an “ex-drunk” who has become religious since she quit drinking. In the aftermath of Grandmother’s death, she suffers from depression and anxiety and sometimes needs Junior to stay home because she is scared for him to leave. Though she and Dad worry about their family splitting up, they want the best for their children and are very supportive of Junior’s decision to transfer schools.
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Mom Character Timeline in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The timeline below shows where the character Mom appears in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 - Why Chicken Means So Much to Me
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
However, when Junior asks his mom to take Oscar to the vet, she tells him they can’t afford the hundreds of... (full context)
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
...might have been able to do “if someone had paid attention to their dreams.” His mom would have gone to college, and his dad would have been a musician. He includes... (full context)
Chapter 4 - Because Geometry Is Not a Country Somewhere Near France
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
...school. When he arrives and passes out books, Junior notices that his book has his mom’s maiden name inscribed in it—meaning the book is at least thirty years older than he... (full context)
Chapter 6 - Go Means Go
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
...even though it will be difficult to get him to school every day. However, Junior’s mom warns him that since Junior will be the first person to leave the rez this... (full context)
Chapter 12 - Slouching Toward Thanksgiving
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Overlapping Opposites Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Drawing, Writing, and Junior’s Cartoons Theme Icon
...has married a Flathead Indian and moved to Montana without saying goodbye to anyone. His mom and dad are “absolutely freaked”: they feel that they have now lost two kids to... (full context)
Chapter 14 – Thanksgiving
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Drawing, Writing, and Junior’s Cartoons Theme Icon
Junior enjoys Thanksgiving with his mom, dad, and grandmother, but misses Rowdy because he always used to come over for a... (full context)
Chapter 22 - Red Versus White
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Overlapping Opposites Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
...compares his family to the families of his white classmates. He loves Mary and his mom and dad and grandmother. In spite of their flaws, he believes his mom and dad... (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...about Reardan is Penelope—as well as Gordy, maybe—and the best thing about Wellpinit was his grandmother. He thinks his grandmother’s greatest gift was her tolerance, an “old-time Indian spirit” of forgiving... (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Grandmother was always open-minded, loved meeting new people, and was famous at powwows simply for being... (full context)
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
The surgeon who works on Grandmother when she is brought to the emergency room tells Junior’s family that her last words... (full context)
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Drawing, Writing, and Junior’s Cartoons Theme Icon
To Junior, the fact that his grandmother was killed by a drunk driver is especially ironic because although many Indians die because... (full context)
Chapter 23 – Wake
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Overlapping Opposites Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
When Grandmother’s wake is held three days later, almost two thousand Indians attend. Out of respect for... (full context)
Overlapping Opposites Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
...be moved onto the football field—a “crazy and fun and sad” send-off that Junior knows Grandmother would have loved. (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...feeling guilty for years about keeping it. While Junior wonders why Ted has chosen his grandmother’s funeral for this confession, Ted explains that he learned from an anthropologist that the outfit... (full context)
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Overlapping Opposites Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Junior’s mother rises to accept Ted’s apology and explains that there’s nothing to forgive: her mother wasn’t... (full context)
Chapter 24 - Valentine Heart
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
Drawing, Writing, and Junior’s Cartoons Theme Icon
In grief, Junior’s Dad goes on a drinking binge, Mom goes to church every day, and Junior draws and draws cartoons that mock God and... (full context)
Chapter 25 - In Like a Lion
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Confessions, Revenge, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
...a three-pointer, humiliating Rowdy and deciding the fate of the game. The crowd is amazed—Junior’s mom faints, and his dad hugs and kisses the white guy next to him even though... (full context)
Chapter 27 - Because Russian Guys Are Not Always Geniuses
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
When Dad and Junior walk inside, the house is full of family. Junior’s mom pulls him into her lap and tells him never to leave her. Then she slaps... (full context)
Chapter 28 - My Final Freshman Year Report Card
Identity, Belonging, and Coming-of-Age Theme Icon
Overlapping Opposites Theme Icon
Racism, Poverty, and Alcoholism Theme Icon
Hope, Dreams, and Loss Theme Icon
At the end of the school year, Junior goes to the cemetery with his mom and dad to clean the graves of Grandmother Spirit, Eugene, and Mary. They make it... (full context)