Reservation Blues

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Sherman Alexie, White people Pages: 4 (1495 words) Published: May 2, 2005
The novel "Reservation Blues" does not describe or deal with real Indians. The real Native Americans were forever destroyed by the government the second that they set foot upon the makeshift reservation. That very second saw the perish of all the age-long values and traditions that, before that moment, defined, raised, and watched over every Indian boy and girl, every Indian husband and wife, and every Indian father and mother. The U.S. government easily and nonviolently accomplished what the army has been struggling to do for many years, it wiped out a whole race of people, turning them into a mindless horde that was of concern to no one. The result were people who were hardly more Indian than you or me, people without culture, morals, or traditions; these people were lost. The only thing they had in common was the color of their skin and nothing else. This paper takes a look at ancient Native American traditions such as: unity, storytelling, communication with nature, and pride in their culture and shows how they were all but absent from this particular reservation and the mindsets of its inhabitants.

The greatest thing that Indians shared is unity. Their culture viewed the tribe as a living and breathing thing, needing every member's cooperation and participation in order to survive. Throughout the years, Indians have always relied on each other for help and support, whether hunting, raising children, or defending their territory. In addition, possessions were shared equally between the members, and everything was done for the benefit of the tribe. On the Spokane reservation there is no such concept as unity. People live for their own good, barely tolerating their own kind. Defying their ancestor's traditions, characters such as Victor and Joseph bully others into submission in order to get what they want or just for fun. Michael White Hawk attacks the band members out of jealousy. After the band starts their public performances, the whole town splits into...
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