"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," Vocabulary from Chapters 22-26

Sherman Alexie charts a young boy's journey through his decimated American Indian culture on the reservation to an all-white school and asks how a heritage can be preserved in "The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian."

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-7, Chapters 8-14, Chapters 15-21, Chapters 22-26, Chapters 27-29
definitions & notes only words
  1. random
    lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
    I think she’s double crazy and random.
  2. eccentric
    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
    Sure, my dad has a drinking problem and my mom can be a little eccentric, but they make sacrifices for me.
  3. binge
    an occasion for excessive eating or drinking
    I mean, yeah, my dad would sometimes go on a drinking binge and be gone for a week, but those white dads can completely disappear without ever leaving the living room.
  4. shaman
    one acting as a medium between the visible and spirit worlds
    Epileptics were often shamans because people just assumed that God gave seizure-visions to the lucky ones.
  5. wail
    emit long loud cries
    At the hospital, my mother wept and wailed.
  6. grieve
    feel grief
    So they all waved the white flag that day and let me grieve in peace.
  7. devastating
    physically or spiritually destructive
    It’s just devastating.”
  8. anthropologist
    a social scientist specializing in the study of humanity
    Your anthropologist wasn’t much of an expert, either.
  9. mull
    reflect deeply on a subject
    We all just sat there in silence as Ted mulled that over.
  10. glorious
    having great beauty and splendor
    It was the most glorious noise I’d ever heard.
  11. displace
    cause to move, usually with force or pressure
    And I realized that, sure, Indians were drunk and sad and displaced and crazy and mean, but, dang, we knew how to laugh.
  12. endure
    face and withstand with courage
    How much loss were we supposed to endure?
  13. distraught
    deeply agitated especially from emotion
    I mean, the thing is, Medea was so distraught by the world, and felt so betrayed, that she murdered her own kids.
  14. slump
    assume a drooping posture or carriage
    I slumped into her class and sat in the back of the room.
  15. spontaneous
    said or done without having been planned in advance
    A spontaneous demonstration.
  16. revise
    reorganize, especially for the purpose of improving
    I keep writing and rewriting, drawing and redrawing, and rethinking and revising and reediting.
  17. totem
    emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant
    I mean, I’d always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole—I wasn’t expected to be good so I wasn’t.
  18. crusade
    exert oneself continuously or vigorously to gain an end
    In fact, my white fans were going to cheer for me like I was some kind of crusading warrior:
  19. cavalry
    troops trained to fight on horseback
    Cavalry against other Indians.
  20. primitive
    characteristic of an earlier ancestral type
    It made me feel exposed and primitive.
  21. concussion
    injury to the brain caused by a blow
    He gave me a concussion that first game.
  22. smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
    Rowdy smirked at me as I took my position next to him.
  23. demoralize
    lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
    I wanted to absolutely demoralize him.
  24. adrenaline
    a secretion in response to stress, stimulating nerve action
    And I figured, with the crazy adrenaline coursing through my body, I might be able to jump over the rim again.
  25. momentum
    an impelling force or strength
    One play can change your momentum forever.