Prof. David Finley
8 September 2010
Smoke Signals Character Analysis #1
Sherman Alexie created a character named Victor who is portrayed in Alexie’s work this is what it means to Say Phoenix, Arizona. Alexie’s short story was also developed into a film by Chris Eyre named Smoke Signals. Victor is the main character in both the movie and the film and they are about him and his travel on the way to Arizona where is father passed away. With him he takes Thomas Builds-the-Fire and together they travel from their reservation in Washington to Phoenix to collect Victor’s father’s valuables. In the movie, Victor’s feelings toward his father and Thomas seem to be stronger than in the story and throughout the adventure Victor’s feelings change noticeably. In both the movie and the story, Victor’s father leaves and in the film Victor seems to resent his father for doing so, more so than in Alexie’s short story. In Eyre’s film Thomas asks Victor about his father and Victor responds with,” What about him” (Smoke). Victor says this not only in front of Thomas, but a couple of his friends and when he says that he just smiles and shakes his head. This shows that Victor does not care about his dad that much because he made his statement in a sarcastic tone of voice. Through out the short story Victor refers to his father as dad and father, where as in the movie Victor only refers to his father as father. This shows that Victor was really upset with his dad in the movie for leaving, but it is hard to determine how mad Victor was at his dad in the short story. Victor’s feelings for his father in the short story remain hard to determine throughout the story, but in the movie Victor shows that he forgives his dad toward the end. That is shown after Victor and Thomas get out of the Police Station when Victor tells Thomas,” Let me hold Dad” (Smoke). In Alexie’s short story Victor seems to not really mind Thomas and mentions about their childhood where...
Cited: Smoke Signals. Dir. Chris Eyre. Screenplay by Sherman Alexie. Perf. Adam Ceach, Evan
Adams, Irene Bedard, and Gary Farmer. Shadowcatcher Entertainment, 1998. DVD. Miramax, 1999.
Alexie, Sherman. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. This is what it means to say
Phoenix, Arizona. New York: Grove, 1993. Print.
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