The Indian Killer as a Religious Symbol
The Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie is a novel about the violence and chaos caused by the destruction of the Native American identity. In the book, Native Americans strive to figure out who they are while violence continues to grow around them. Native Americans are angry with white people because they are tired of being oppressed. Whites are angry with Native Americans because they no longer want them. And in this ferocious, never-ending cycle of anger and violence, the Indian Killer is created. To some people, the Indian killer is an Indian who is killing innocent white people out of revenge. To others, the Indian Killer kills Indians by causing violence against them. However, nobody really knows who the Indian Killer is. In reality, the Indian Killer is both and, at the same time, none of these. The killer is a force sent down by a higher power to stop the future persecution of Native Americans. The Indian Killer is unrestricted to the physical state of the human mind and body. It is not bound to the limits of the human body or the morality of the human mind. Mark Jones, the white boy that the Indian Killer kidnapped, is the only person to ever have seen the Indian Killer. When Mark looks into the killer’s face, he notices that it “[shimmers] and [changes] like a pond after a rock [has] been tossed into it” (Alexie, 153). When a rock is thrown into a pond, the water shifts and changes according to the force that the rock caused. Likewise, the killer is able to change his form depending on the situation he is in. At one point, Mark describes the Indian killer as being a winged-creature. He says, “I don’t know. Lots of feathers…On the wings…It was the bird that was there…It could fly, I bet…I think it could fly because it had wings” (324). No one can believe that Mark actually believed the killer was a bird. However, Mark sees what the killer wants him to see: an ever-changing,...
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