In Virgin Land, Smith writes about how part of the expansion of the United States was encouraged by an urge for these early Americans to turn their back son traditional European thought and pattern of development. Consequently, many road trip films start out with young adults trying to forge a new path from themselves, often running away from or rejecting their parental figures and their current cultural surroundings. When looking for road trip bo...
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...he experience that goes along with it is something that can be shared across the gender and age lines.
Smoke Signals, appears to be making a similar argument that the American road trip can also be shared across racial and socioeconomic lines. The characters here do not drive off into the sunset in a convertible car all to themselves. For much of their journey they are traveling either on foot, as hitchhikers, or on a shuttle bus across the country, much of which they have never seen. This take on the American road trip flips the traditional norms, the idea that a person of indigenous heritage could feel so out of place and lost in the largest spaces of the United States, is a commentary on the treatment of American’s native peoples. However, this argues and shows that the sense of adventure and restless nature transcends across the lines of heritage and ethnicity.
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