The Present Day Native American Experience as Described in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

The Present Day Native American Experience as Described in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

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“. . . every little war, every little hurricane. I’ll take my Indian thumb and my white
fingers on my strong right hand and I’ll take my white thumb and my Indian fingers on my
clumsy left hand and I’ll make fists, furious.” In The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in
Heaven, written in 1993 by Sherman Alexie, he describes the present-day Native American
experience through a series of short stories. Throughout the stories Alexie describes Native
Americans in a very sad way. Many of the characters have overlooked their want to become a
warrior because of their issues with alcohol. Alexie shows how alcohol has a very negative effect
on Native American culture. Some characters started to believe that drinking alcohol would
fix all of their issues. Natives thought that, “one more beer could save the world. One more
beer and every chair would be comfortable. One more beer and the light bulb in the bathroom
would never burn out. One more beer and he would love her forever. One more beer and he
would sign any treaty for her (Alexie).” However, alcohol only made their lives worse. Native Americans throughout the story began to realize that sticking to tradition was more important than following the negative roads of white American culture.
``Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you, and your future is a skeleton
walking one step in front of you. Maybe you don't wear a watch, but your skeletons do, and they
always know what time it is (Alexie).'' The skeleton behind you is in the past, and the skeleton in
the front is the future. These skeletons wear watches for the reason that they are like
recollections. There is a moment in the past that you can't overlook; you know
what occurred, when it happened, etc. That ...


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...ecause My Father Always Said He Was the Only
Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play The Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock” Alexie states,
“Indians were pretty much born soldiers anyway. Don’t need a uniform to prove it (Alexie 29).
Native Americans on the reservation were aware that people think of them a certain way but then
again they did not want to accept it. They understood that they had to move on from the past and
start a new life for their selves. That is why the deep longing of young men to be warriors
emerged in many of the stories. The younger generations believe they have something to owe to
the older generation. In addition they want to feel a since of belonging and actually believe they
earned everything. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a reminder that everybody
has a place in society, it just takes a little time and understanding.

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