Sherman Alexie

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Sherman Alexie is a Native American writer, best known for his works “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” Smoke Signals, “What You Pawn,” and “Indian Education.” In every story Alexie’s style is recognizable, making his works incredibly unique to his culture. Within his writings, his imagery is beyond belief, his description of “He’s got those great big cheekbones that are like planets, you know, with little moons orbiting them,” (What You Pawn, 1) gives you a picture of Junior. Alexie uses great description towards his characters along with them wishing the whites to be gone. All of his stories at some point include the conflict of the Native Americans and the White men. In Smoke Signals Arnold talks to his son about Independence Day, “I could make anything disappear. Houdini with braids you know? Poof, wave my hand! The white people are gone, sent back to where they belong. Poof!” (140). Alexie not only tells the rivalry between the Indians and Whites, but he uses multiple flashbacks within his pieces. He goes back and forth between the fighting of Thomas and Victor as kids and as they are on their journey to receive Victor’s father in Smoke Signals. Many times he goes back to the day of the fire, and as the story goes on we see more of what actually happens, learning the story along with Thomas. Along with the flashbacks, Alexie repeatedly uses the quote “it’s a good day to die…” Just in Smoke Signals alone, “it’s a good day to…” was use multiple times. Alexie is fond of adding basketball and pop culture references to his stories. Some of these include Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. He also enjoys having ceremonies and oral stories appear in some way, to hold a profound meaning through out his story. Inside all of Alexie’s stories there is something that makes them different, something that will catch his audiences eye, something that makes the reader want to continue and follow his journey.
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