Sherman Alexie’s character’s often struggle to release themselves from the stereotypes that have been forced upon them. The narrators of these stories all become the Indian that the white man wants them to be in order to tell their stories. This can leave the readers with a sense of discomfort, which is exactly what Alexie wants to do. He wants the reader to feel uncomfortable with these stereotypes so that they know there is something wrong with attaching a group of people to certain standards like that their all alcoholics, live on reservations, and spiritual. He pushes this feeling of discomfort onto his readers to make them aware of social injustice and immorality towards Native Americans and much of this discomfort is projected through the use of dark humor, cultural assimilation, and ceremony.
Dark humor makes light of a serious and often dreadful situation and it is something that Alexie’s novels are famous for. In The Approximate Size of His Favorite Humor: Sherman Alexie's Comic Connections and Disconnections in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Joseph L. Coulumbe writes an article about Sherman Alexie’s Comic Connections and Disconnections. “He uses humor—or his characters use humor—to reveal injustice, protect self-esteem, heal wounds, and create bonds”(Coulumbe 94). In Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven, there is a short story entitled “The Fun House” where Alexie reveals some of the personal struggles of women living on the reservation. In this story Alexie reveals some of the disrespect and injustice women on the reservation have to endure. The story features Victor’s aunt Nezzy who is watching television with her husband and s...
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...fight in Heaven. Group West, 2005.
Carroll, Kathleen L. Ceremonial Tradition as Form and Theme in Sherman Alexie's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven": A Performance-Based Approach to Native American Literature. Midwest Modern Language Association, 2005.
Coulombe, Joseph L. The Approximate Size of His Favorite Humor: Sherman Alexie's Comic Connections and Disconnections in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The American Indian Quarterly, 2002.
Griffith, Jean C. Muting White Noise: Native American and European American Novel Traditions by James H. Cox.Oxford University Press, 2008.
Nygren, Ase. A World of Story-Smoke: A Conversation with Sherman Alexie. Oxford University Press, 2005.
Rothberg, Nina. Native American Spatial Imaginaries and Notions of Erasure in Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The Democracy Issue.
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