The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by: Sherman Alexie

Rowdy

Rowdy, at least according to Junior, is Junior’s best friend. But Rowdy seldom expresses his emotions in words, and, whenever Junior tries to tell Rowdy how much he means to him, Rowdy usually responds with a homophobic slur. Rowdy often resorts to fistfights and vandalism over conversation. And Rowdy’s home life—the fact that his father is emotionally and physically abusive—is no secret on the reservation. Junior implies that the difficulty Rowdy has expressing his emotions stems from his father’s abusive behavior. When Junior decides to leave the Wellpinit high school and head for Reardan, Rowdy takes Junior’s decision as a personal affront. He sees Junior as a traitor and, though Junior invites Rowdy to join him at Reardan, Rowdy reacts to being abandoned by renouncing Junior’s friendship. Despite his anger issues, Rowdy has a good (though juvenile) sense of humor. He is honest with Junior, is supportive of Junior’s cartooning, and gives Junior tough love whenever Junior comes to him for relationship advice. When Junior asks him to, Rowdy protects Junior’s secrets.