Do You Know Where I Am?

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Chris Innis
English 1102 Ms. Whittaker
Paper 1, Final Draft
2/5/13
The Color Black
Sherman Alexie’s short fictional story, “Do You Know Where I Am,” begins with a Native American narrator named David, and he tracks his relationship with his wife, Sharon, until her untimely death at the end. All was peachy with this couple until they happened to stumble upon a black cat that an elderly couple had lost some time ago. Sharon prodded David to rescue the cat, and when he did, she proceeded to dig through the dumpster to find the newspaper which housed this specific lost cat ad. Upon returning the cat to the couple, David immediately took credit for everything Sharon had just done which included: finding the cat, deciding to rescue it, and digging out the old newspaper ad to find out the cat’s owners as well. Sharon could not believe what her boyfriend had just done, and the couple therefore took a break for a while, only to get married and live happy lives until Sharon’s death. Based on this short summation of Alexie’s story, one would not believe that the cat, a superficially minor character in this piece, would play a crucial role. This cat, however, acts as the main focus of Sharon and David’s flawless relationship, and becomes the main evil coming between these lovers.

In many cultures around the world, the color black is viewed as foreboding or menacing. It is viewed this way because the heavens are usually viewed as a light, peaceful place, and black, being the opposite of this connotation, immediately lends itself to be viewed as evil. The cat initially seems harmless, and does not harm his rescuer David, but Alexie uses the cat’s dark hue to illustrate the foreboding hardship for the couple. Sharon and David’s relationship would not be the same had the cat not come between them and tainted it. Although the couple ends up living a happy life, Sharon is constantly keeping David on pins and needles by bringing up his infamous lie. David’s desire to be a...
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