“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”

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“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”

By | December 2012
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The short story of “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie shows the value of a true friendship. A true friend is the one who doesn’t have to physically be by your side the whole time. He can stand aside, awaits for your trouble, and lends you a hand. A true friend doesn’t care how the world sees him, he cares only how his “best” friend view of him. The true friend in this story is Thomas Builds-the-Fire. The story goes back and forth with the present and the past to show Victor and Thomas who were once best friends and now, almost stranger. A teenage fight started by Victor when he was drunk torn apart the friendship between Victor and Thomas; at least that is what Victor thought for a good amount of time. Thomas on the other hand forgave Victor and still hold-on to the friendship between them. Thomas can see through Victor’s pride when Victor needed the money to go to Arizona and offer him the help. Only true friend can see through his friends like that. I was certain about Thomas’s friendship up until he said he was making a deal with Victor’s dad to watch over Victor. He said he came with Victor because of his father. Is this mean without the father, the friendship was long dismantled? I don’t think so. The father’s death reunite the strong friendship that was originally there even though they both cannot go back to their “original” friendship stage. I think they cannot go back to the original stage because Thomas is still holding onto his tribal tradition and telling stories, which no one understands and Victor is more modernize. However, I’ve concluded that after the trip to Arizona, their friendship rekindle because Victor feels gratitude toward Thomas and even gives some of his father’s ashes to Thomas. Victor also agreed to stop and listen to Thomas’ story when he encounters such event.
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