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Richard Montoya Professor Collin Ludlow-Mattson English 114 17 October 2 1!

Creating a Culture "hoc#$Critical Essay "econd %raft

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&n the stories 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' and (a-)ehisi Coates '* Culture of Po+erty', *rnold and (a-)ehisi Coates both ha+e to switch between different ty-es of cultures. (his brings a culture shoc# to the/ because they ha+e to ad0ust into two co/-letely different cultures. (his culture shoc# can be seen when both (a-)ehisi Coates and *rnold ha+e to switch abru-tly between different cultures. *rnold switches between the cultures of Reardan and the reser+ation while (a)ehisi Coates has to switch between his ho/e culture and his wor# culture. 1oth *rnold and (a-)ehisi Coates both see +iolence as a first o-tion due to the cultures that they grew u- in. (hey belie+e that they /ust /eet +iolence with /ore +iolence. (his creates se+eral different situations in both of writings. &n "her/an *le2ie3s 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' *rnold has to ad0ust to two co/-letely different cultures. 1ecause of this, he struggles to learn the different cultures that /a#e the worlds so different fro/ each other. One of the cultures, which he is used to is the culture that he grew u- with on the reser+ation. (his is *rnold3s ho/e culture. &t is the /ain culture that *rnold bases /ost of his decisions off of. 4e /ust learn to ad0ust this culture when he is in different -laces such as Reardan. (he second cultures is the culture in the town of Reardan. *rnold has to ada-t to this se-arate culture. (his /a#es hi/ feel as if his identities were s-lit. (his can be seen in

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the 5uote ')o, & felt li#e a /agician slicing /yself in half, with 6unior li+ing on the north side of the "-o#ane Ri+er and *rnold li+ing on the south.' 7Page 819 (his 5uote shows that *rnold feels as if he has two se-arate identities because how different the culture on the reser+ation and the culture in the town of Reardan are. (a-)ehisi Coates grew u- in a tough neighborhood in 1alti/ore, so his culture growing u- was +astly different fro/ the cultures in his ho/e and his wor#-lace now. (a-)ehisi Coates is arguing that two conflicting cultures could 0eo-ardi:e each other because each culture can ha+e an i/-act on the other culture. *n e2a/-le of this is when (a-)ehisi Coates got in an argu/ent with a /an at his wor#-lace. (his is shown in the 5uote '& had thought as far as the dude ste--ing outside--but & hadn3t thought any further. & hadn3t thought about getting arrested. & hadn3t thought about the i/-lications of a 834 28 -ound blac# dude assaulting a ;311 7/aybe<9 white dude. & hadn3t thought about all of this -laying out against the bac#dro- of Oba/a3s no/ination. & hadn3t thought about losing /y 0ob. *nd, /ost cri/inally, & hadn3t thought about /y fa/ily, who were de-ending on that 0ob.' 4e hadn3t thought of the after/ath that would ha+e occurred if he would ha+e gotten into a fight with the /an. 4is ho/e culture would ha+e been negati+ely i/-acted because of a /ista#e /ade in his wor# culture. &f he would ha+e gotten into a fight with the /an, his ho/e culture could ha+e been 0eo-ardi:ed. (his si/ilarly ha--ens to *rnold and can be seen in the 5uote '& went ho/e that night co/-letely confused. *nd terrified. &f &3d -unched an &ndian in the face, then he would ha+e s-ent days -lotting his re+enge.' 7Page 879. *rnold did not see the after/ath of his

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actions. 4e was only concerned with the -resent situation. (a-)ehisi Coates reali:es that he needs to ad0ust fro/ his wor# culture to his ho/e culture e+eryday. 4e grew uin a tough neighborhood in 1alti/ore, so he was used to /eeting +iolence with /ore +iolence. (his can be seen in the 5uote '&f you are a young -erson li+ing in an en+iron/ent where +iolence is fre5uent and rando/, the willingness to /eet any hint of +iolence with yet /ore +iolence is a shield. "o/e -eo-le ta#e to this lesson easier than others. *s a #id, & hated fighting--not si/-ly the incurring of -ain, but the actual dishing it out. 7&f you follow /y style of argu/ent, you can actually see that that3s still true.9 1ut once & learned the lesson, once & was acculturated to the notion that often the 5uic#est way to forestall /ore fighting, is to fight, & was a belie+er.' *rnold has a si/ilar +iew while he is li+ing on the reser+ation. 4e s-ea#s about unwritten rules that e+eryone on the reser+ation #nows, e+en thought they are not s-o#en about. (his is shown in the 5uote '1ut before & tell you about the weirdest fistfight of /y life. & ha+e to tell you= (4E >)O??&C&*L *)% >)@R&((E) "POA*)E &)%&*) R>LE" O? ?&"(&C>??"'7 Page 819 *rnold did not reali:e that he was li+ing within two conflicting cultures. 4e did not #now that the town of Reardan had a co/-letely different unwritten and uns-o#en rule set. (his /ade hi/ confused after he -unched Roger because he e2-ected so/e for/ of retaliation. E+ery culture has an uns-o#en and unwritten rule set. "o/e are /a0orly different than others (a-)ehisi Coates tal#s about a for/ of his culture3s unwritten and uns-o#en rule set in the 5uote '*t the door of the tent, and & loo#ed at hi/ and said, 'Bou really need to bac# off.' 4e loo#ed bac# and said, 'Or

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what.' & closed in on hi/, and 5uietly but seriously, res-onded, 'Bou really want to find out<' 4e wal#ed bac# inside. & thin# as a younger /an, & would ha+e been -roud of that /o/ent. ?or surely, & had adhered to *rticle 2 of the Code Of (he "treets--'(hou "halt )ot 1e ?ound * Pun#.' 4ad the gentle/an ste--ed outside, & had already /ade the decision that & was going to swing. & didn3t belie+e in threatening -eo-le and then not following through. Perha-s as 14 year old, on the streets of @est 1alti/ore, bac# at Mondaw/in Mall, the res-onse would ha+e been correct. &n fact, & was a !!-year old contributing editor at a well-regarded /aga:ine who3d 0ust i/-licitly threatened so/eone on the -ro-erty of /y brand new e/-loyer.' (a-)ehisi reali:es that he needs to ada-t to the different cultures around hi/, whether it be his wor# culture, ho/e culture, or culture that he shares with friends. 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' and '* culture of Po+erty' can be connected by cultures. (he *uthor of '* Culture of Po+erty' and the /ain character of "her/an *le2ie3s no+el both ha+e to swa- between different cultures. (a)ehisi Coates had to swa- between the culture that he grew u- with and his ho/e culture. (his forced hi/ to ada-t to the different cultures in his life. *rnold had to swabetween the culture on the reser+ation and the culture in the town of Reardan. *rnold was forced to learn two se-arate cultures, so that his life could be /ade easier in each of the cultures. (a-)ehisi Coates is saying that it is i/-ortant to thin# of the conse5uences of your actions because one culture /ay not see it the sa/e way as you. 4e states that a

-erson /ust ada-t in order to function in /any different cultures. @hat (a-)ehisi Coates is Montoya ;

saying is i/-ortant because it is true. %ifferent cultures do not thin# ali#e and using different cultures incorrectly could cause bad conse5uences. Coates cautions that both cultures could be negati+ely i/-acted if you do not ada-t to different cultures in different settings. & belie+e that both of the te2t are stating si/ilar things. &n both te2t *rnold and (a-)ehisi Coates see/ to get a culture shoc# by ha+ing to switch ra-idly between se+eral cultures. (a-)ehisi Coates states that the culture that we grew u- with influences how we act so/eti/es. & belie+e this is true because e+erybody grows u- with different rules and +alues. %ifferent cultures can conflict. &n 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' *rnold also has to ada-t between different cultures. Reardan is a co/-letely different culture than the reser+ation. &t has it3s own set of rules and +alues and it also is in a co/-letely different area. 1oth of the te2t are /a#ing the -oint that following a culture that you grew u- with in a totally different culture /ight end bad with conse5uences that one would not e2-ect. *rnold e2-ected Roger to want to get in a fight with hi/ or get re+enge on hi/. Roger didn3t thin# about getting re+enge on *rnold. 4e had a co/-letely different /indset. (a)ehisi Coates only thought about fighting the /an at his wor#, but he didn3t thin# about getting fired or losing his source of inco/e. &f he lost his source of inco/e, it would affect his ho/e life and is fa/ily life. 4is whole life would ha+e be negati+ely i/-acted because of a fight with a rando/ stranger that didn3t agree with his -oint of +iew.

1oth *rnold and (a-)ehisi Coates both reali:e the faults in there thin#ing and they try to e2-and their thin#ing to /any different cultures. (hey both learn that if they Montoya 8

e2-and their understanding of the different cultures, they will be able to ha+e an easier life because they will be able to understand and function in both cultures. *rnold reali:es that Reardan is a co/-letely different -lace than his old school or the reser+ation as a whole. 4e learns how to act and ada-ts to the different things that he e2-eriences around hi/. (a-)ehisi Coates reali:es that he cannot co/bine a culture that he used to li+e by with his new wor# culture, or it would ha+e e2tre/ely de+astating effects. 4e /ust drothe -art of his ho/e culture fro/ when he was growing u- that /a#es hi/ want to /eet +iolence with /ore +iolence. & agree with the -oints that the te2ts are /a#ing because they are co/-letely logical. Bou ha+e to learn how to control yourself at a 0ob. Bou can3t get into -hysical fights at wor# or you /ay be sub0ected to being fired, charged with assault, or sued. (he idea that you /ust ada-t in certain situations is true. One culture /ay be co/-letely se-arate fro/ a different culture. &f two cultures conflict, then you ha+e to learn how to ada-t to fit the situation. (his can be seen in both 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' and '* Culture of Po+erty'. (he /any different e2-eriences that both (a-)ehisi and *rnold had are due to the changes in cultures. (hese changes of cultures are things that e+erybody goes through in /any different situations throughout their life. %ifferent cultures could e2ist at ho/e, at a wor#site, with friends, and also 0ust with rando/ strangers.

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*le2ie, "her/an. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, )ew Bor#= Little, 1rown and Co/-any, 2 Print. 7.

(a-)ehisi Coates, '* Culture of Po+erty', http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2 ! /! /a-culture-of-poverty/"#$%#/, Oct 2 2 1 , 11= *M E(, The Atlantic, n.d., 1 $7