Sherman Alexie

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Family Pages: 1 (309 words) Published: February 27, 2006
"The loss of cultural identity in the Native American family", in Sherman Alexie's story, is a human story about cultural identity. In this story, Victor has grown up in a household defined by sex and violence. His father is alcoholic and crazy about Jimi Hendrix. Victor's mother is a beautiful Native American and dancing queen. Victor's parents fight each other constantly, but sometimes make love after drinking. One day Victor's father leaves the family after too much fighting with her. In the end, Victor and his mother miss him. Through this story Alexie implies that older generation Native Americans struggle to survive against the loss of cultural identity.

Alexie further implies that older generation Native Americans were separated from the family through several forms of escape. For exmple, Victor says, "my generation of Indian boys ain't ever had no real war to fight. The first Indians…." His father says, "You are lucky. Shit,… Why the hell would you want to fight a war for this country? It's been trying to kill Indians since the very beginning." Through this conversation, we can realize that Victor tries to remove the gap between old and young generations. But his father does not want to let Victor fight for United States since Victor's father thinks U.S. destroyed Indian culture and killed people. Secondly, the narrator comments, "On a reservation, Indian men who abandon their children are treated worse than white fathers who do the same thing. It's because white men have been doing that forever and Indian men have just learned how. That's how assimilation can work." Through this narration, we realize that there are many differences between Native American and white people. I think that although Native Americans try to assimilate to Western civilization, assimilation carries West it many problems.
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