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Sherman Alexie

By andij1968 May 09, 2012 906 Words
Sherman Alexie-native American of the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene nation. This story was adapted into a film “smoke signals. What topics does he address? Alexie address the death of Victors father, his relationship with Thomas Builds-the-Fire, How deep does he go? The story centers on Victor and his father who passed away recently, who he hadn’t had a close relationship for years, and spoke to him over the phone a few times. Victor has this “genetic pain, which was soon to be as real and immediate as a broken bone.” This story is about pain on a personal level; a personal pain and struggle that someone may have inside them because of damaged relationships. How does he do it? By going into past memories of when they were boys. Speaks of the time when they went to the 4th of July fireworks, shared a bicycle, **Although Victor had a problematic relation with his father, as well as with Thomas, part of their trip to Arizona involves Thomas flashbacks with Victor’s father and telling other stories What is the one idea that the story overall suggests? One of the themes in Alexie’s story is that of family and tribal identity. What does one learn from it? **Alexie depicts the character of Victor as a person, fighting with his inner conflicts, and struggling hard to find the courage to accept Thomas Builds-The-Fire, the way he is.

Which literary devise work most strongly to make it so?
-it seems that the characters in this story are….

Character-Victor and Thomas Builds-the-Fire- the characters of this story are real in that people can relate to the situations and feelings. Victor and Thomas are reasonable representation of real people because they are facing real problems from troubled relationships and challenging situations. Readers can find interest in these characters because of the way they deal with their circumstances Plot- the elements of plot which are nicely shown in "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” is a wonderful frame story containing examples of flashback,... Victor’s father has passed away in Phoenix and needs financial help to go to there. He goes to the Tribal Council to ask for help and all they give him is $100. He runs into his cousin Thomas Builds-the-Fire and he agrees to go with him to get the money left to him by his father. –These fictional characters go through a series of lifelike events, thoughts. Setting-

Structure- the story is put together in a way that it easy to follow. This story is skillfully structured around news of Victor's father's death in Phoenix and the job of reclaiming his ashes, old pickup truck, and small savings and returning home. Thomas, the tribal storyteller, is Alexie's most fascinating character in this story in terms of being deeply rooted within his tribal traditions…..As Thomas greets Victor at the tribal trading post he expresses condolences for his loss, and Victor asks how Thomas heard of Victor's father's death. Thomas says: “I heard it on the wind. I heard it from the birds. I felt it in the sunlight. Also, your mother was just in here crying.” Thomas continues during the course of the story as both a person of traditional practice and a satirical commentator on it. Point of view-third person point of view—if events in the work are described in the third person, him, her, it, they, the author is using 3rd person. 3 variations to 3rd person—dramatic or objective: unidentified speaker who reports things in a way that is similar to a hovering or tracking video camera, limited only to what is said or happens; readers can from their own interpretations. Omniscient: all knowing, speaker not only presents action and dialogue but also reports the thoughts and reactions of the characters. and limited omniscient: author concentrates on or limits the narration to the actions and thoughts of a major character, the name given to the central figure on whom the third person omniscient point of view is focused is the point of view character.(126). Tone-

Language-(38)-This story is original, organized and well developed. Allusion- unacknowledged references and quotations that authors make while assuming that readers will recognize the original sources and relate their meanings to the new context. Allusions are hence compliments that the author pays to readers for their perceptiveness, knowledge and awareness. Theme- (67) is an exploration of an idea, an idea in movement that persists throughout the story.

Symbols- Universal or Cultural Symbol-The meaning of Alexie's “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” is strengthened by the story's symbolism. The story's title, along with other elements in this story, is significant. Phoenix is not only a city, but also the name of a mythological bird that rises from its own ashes and is reborn, making it a symbol of immortality and rebirth. The story is about a sort of rebirth for Victor where he finds himself, thanks to Thomas-Builds-the-Fire. Victor comes to peace with himself, where before he was very angry. His self-discovery is like the rebirth of a phoenix.**

Johnson 2
Works Cited
O’Connor, Frank. “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 10th Edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 129-136. Print.

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