Sherman Alexie Sand Creek Massacre

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Sherman Alexie has lost his faith in humanity. His poem “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” illustrates a despondent mind that has been shattered by the horror of his reflection upon contemporary and historical events. Alexie explores his feelings about Sand Creek and American history and ultimately realizes that he cannot pretend to be surprised by the past violent crimes directed against Native Americans. Alexie is inconsolable because he believes that the blood, violence and death are all inevitable consequences of human nature. Human beings suffer from an internal need to expand and grow through devouring those around them. He bears witness to the carnage that results from such a cannibalistic view of existence and he is not surprised by what he sees. Rather, he revels in the carnage and challenges the reader to counter his viewpoint.

Alexie draws upon history to justify his state of depression. Sand Creek is a major focus of his poem. He uses the conquest of Native Americans by European settlers as proof of the bloodthirsty nature of humanity. The slaughter of men, women and children by an armed, armored force of individuals who volunteered for duty can only be described as the massacre of innocents. Its clear that Alexie believes this was a horrible moment in history but it was not unique. It was just one of many other horrible deeds that are daily perpetrated by human beings. Alexie makes it clear that his intent is not to criticize only the Americans who engaged in the slaughter. Alexie does not exclusively blame the white settlers for the activity because he believes all humans are guilty of murder. Sand Creek is just one of the many possible examples of human evil.

The universality of human cannibalism is the poem’s primary theme. This point is demonstrated by Alexie’s focus upon other examples of horror. Human beings revel in the sight of blood. They enjoy watching horrible violence depicted...
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