Reservation Blues

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Indian reservation Pages: 2 (662 words) Published: March 6, 2005
In the novel Reservation Blues, most of the characters struggle with their identity at some point. Victor has an especially strong urge to rebel against his Native American heritage, which is apparent in his violent, arrogant demeanor and his obvious problem with alcohol. Victor is tied to his past and has trouble coping with his life as it is, and is in a constant battle with himself, his surroundings, and other people.

Early in the book, Victor is portrayed as somewhat of a bully, and he and Junior are even referred to as, "two of the most accomplished bullies of recent Native American history." (page 13) Victor's closest and most meaningful relationship in the book is his friendship with Junior. It's unclear why Junior is best friends with Victor, but both of the men seem to need each other and depend on each other more than they might be willing to admit. Victor never had a real relationship with his father, who moved to Arizona and then died of a heart attack. His mother had met another man and fallen in love with him very soon after Victor's real father left.

Victor doesn't seem to be very attached to his Native American culture. When his father left, his mother married a white man, so Victor grew up with a significant figure in his life being white. He seems to follow his mother's example to some extent, and is frequently attracted to white women. Although Victor doesn't seem to care about being Native American, in some way, his tendency to turn to alcohol to solve his problems suggests that he's more tied to his culture than he knows. Throughout the novel, Victor repeatedly gets drunk and ends up passed out in a car, or somewhere else. While he may think that drinking is a way to escape being Native American, in actuality, it just perpetuates the cycle of alcoholism on the reservation.

In the early stages of starting the band, it becomes clear that Victor will be the guitar player. Since Robert Johnson's guitar seems to be...
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