The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven Analysis

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Alcoholism Pages: 2 (475 words) Published: February 12, 2013
American Literature

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven Analysis

In The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie expresses the modern Native American experience throughout a series of short stories. Throughout these stories Alexie portrays the lives of Native Americans in a dismal and melancholic way. Most of his characters have failed or forgotten their dreams due to their problems with alcohol. Sherman Alexie’s emphasis on Native American’s issues with alcohol gives us insight into how alcohol has destructive effects on Native American society and culture.

Alcoholism is a common theme within Native American society. Some characters became so infatuated with the sensation of being intoxicated that they actually believe being drunk solves all of their problems. Natives think that, “one more beer could save the world. One more beer and every chair would be comfortable. One more beer and the light bulb in the bathroom would never burn out. One more beer and he would love her forever. One more beer and he would sign any treaty for her (Alexie 88).” Alcohol creates a fake reality in the minds of the natives. It makes them believe that they are no longer responsible for their affairs, and dealing with their problems. However, alcohol only serves to make their lives worse.

Alcohol was the root cause of the separation between Native Americans and mainstream America. The interactions the average American has with Natives is simply seeing them stagger around public spaces, because they are drunk. It is not surprising that whites dislike Natives, they are always causing problems because of their love of alcohol. This is exemplified by Dirty Joe, who is belittled and degraded because of his actions in public: “I watched her move against the crowd, the only person not running to see the drunk Indian riding the Stallion. I turned back in time to watch Dirty Joe stumble from the roller coaster and empty his stomach on the platform...
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