In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, one of the general struggles that is presented come from the two worlds of color colliding and creating clashes among the relationships. While being a minority can bring hardships, having the birth defects of something like hydrocephalus bring in more stigma to the character. Additionally, we can see the hardships that come from living in a reservation stem from poverty. Arnold’s sister runs away, his parents are or have been alcoholics and the education provided is mediocre. Meanwhile 22 miles down the road, there exists a “white school,” where students are getting the best education and are not in the midst of struggle like in the reservation. Places such as reservations have some benefits yet at the same time they are laced with the injustices and cause them to be centers of poverty.
The forgotten nooks and crannies of American are left to fend for their own. We have communities throughout the country left to live through their poverty and fear, not just reservations. Our communities just in LA alone are tainted with poverty and crime. A simple conversation with a South Los Angeles friend constantly speaks about his angst towards the LAPD, their efforts to protect are provided in the hard hit crime areas. While in West Los Angeles a simple noise complaint will have the police at your door in three minutes, a drunken teenager firing his gun to a crowd in South LA will have police showing up 20 minutes after, if they are lucky. One of the intricate aspects of the novel and reality is that the turning point, and the end of the cycle of poverty was in having Arnold go to the rich white school. While these “plagued” cities and communities continue to foster the notions of crime, gang life, or alcoholism we also have the cases where families are sending their children away to what they consider will be a turn for a better life. “You can’t give up. You won’t give up. You threw that book in my face because somewhere inside, you refuse to give up.” Once a community refuses to give up, there is a chance for something greater even if in the community there exists only one individual ready to change the pace for his life.