What It Means to Say Phoneix Arizona

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Indian reservation, Sherman Alexie Pages: 2 (481 words) Published: May 3, 2010
The quality of life on some reservations can be comparable to that of life in countries like Mexico with issues of poverty and alcohol and drug abuse. Starting at a very young age Alexie had overcome many obstacles as does his characters in his stories. In the short story, “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” the author Sherman Alexie shows the struggles of Native Americans in a white man’s world. To help us better understand these struggles, this paper will analyze the characters, theme and setting of this story.

The characters of a story is what holds the audiences’ attention. It's important a storyteller introduce characters in a way that allows an audience the time to take in who the characters are and what issues them have to resolve. “This is What It Meant to Say Phoenix, Arizona, focuses on two young Native American boys who have grown up together on an Indian Reservation, but have been estranged from each other since they were teenagers. Victor is presented as a modern man who has lost faith in everything Indian and traditional, while Thomas is a dreamer and a traditional storyteller. In the first three paragraphs of the story, the reader learns that Victor, who is of Native American descent, has lost his job and father, has no money, and need to go to Phoenix to make arrangements.

These events are what lead to the theme of the story. The theme of a story is woven all the way through the story, and the characters' actions, interactions, and motivations. This is all reflected in the friendship between Victor and Thomas and the heritage between modern man and tradition Native Americans. Thomas proposes to lend Victor the money he needed after only receiving 100 dollars from the Indian counsel due to lack of funds. That money that Thomas gave Victor was a mark of true friendship. He gave it without expecting anything in return except to be part of the trip to Phoenix. Even thought they have not been friends since they were teenagers,...
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