Media Fluency: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The video my classmates and I did for English class depicts the part of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian where Arnold finds out his sister is getting married out of the blue.  The underlying message in the video is that sticking together and supporting one another is a central part of Arnold’s family and reservation, even though Arnold agrees that it’s very hard to grow on their reservation. Mary leaving her family suddenly after living in their basement for seven years is like betrayal for them.  The emotion this message was meant to cause is frustration, because the limited resources and bad future on the reservation forces its residents to leave which can hurt families like Arnold’s.  The bias in this message is that Mary had to leave the reservation to live out her dream, when there are still residents who are satisfied with what they have there, like Arnold’s grandma.  Making this part of the book into a video was effective, because you can see the character’s emotions clearly.  It also gives a visual to what happens in the book when Arnold imagines what life is like for Mary now that she’s married, which makes those parts easier to understand. Using video as a medium to convey this message was ineffective because of how short the video is, which could make it harder to engage with the audience.  Another medium that would be effective for this project is animation, because you can clearly express emotions through cartoons by using exaggerated faces, and you can convey the circumstances easily by drawing backgrounds that show the poverty on both reservations.

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