The passage on chicken in Chapter 2 is very short, but very important: it reveals a lot about the dynamics of Junior’s family and the values he grew up with. In a chapter titled, “Why Chicken Means So Much to Me,” he explains that, “sure, sometimes, my family misses a meal, and sleep is the only thing we have for dinner, but I know that, sooner or later, my parents will come bursting through the door with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. … And believe me, a good piece of chicken can make anybody believe in the existence of God.” Chicken thus demonstrates and symbolizes the fact that Junior’s mom and dad, in spite of their poverty and his dad’s alcoholism, will always be there to love and support him in the same way that they’ll always come home with food after a while. The image of return is also important; when Junior hopes and prays at the end of the novel that he’ll be able to see his family and Rowdy after he leaves, and that they will forgive him for leaving, one answer might be that in Junior’s family, you can always trust that somehow, people will always come home.
Chicken Symbol Timeline in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The timeline below shows where the symbol Chicken 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