Sherman Alexie’s Novel, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Essay

Sherman Alexie’s Novel, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Essay

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In Sherman Alexie’s novel, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, the readers get a sense of who he is and how he views things through the character, Victor. Throughout history, Native Americans have been subjugated by the white man. Through prejudice, domination, false promises, and betrayal by the dominant culture had impacted and shaped the lifestyle of the modern Indians. As Victor and his people yield to the addiction of alcohol and devastation of poverty and unemployment, the loss of culture, tradition, and identity is evident. As a result, many Native Americans have a different perspective of the world, including the author.
In the short story, “Imagining the Reservation,” we are given an insight on how Alexie apprehends the true nature of things in the reservation. He says, “Survival equals Anger X Imagination. Imagination is the only weapon on the reservation” (p.150), meaning that he believes his people have to have those two factors in order to keep their character and traditions alive in situations where they may become extinct. Alexie believes that Native Americans should be emotionally and psychologically ready for the burden that’s been placed upon them.
Due to the history of their people, many Natives experience a great lost. The Americans annexation of their land causes them to feel powerless and naïve to a certain extent. For instance, the Americans coaxed the Indians into giving up their land for a trade of beans. Considering the fact that Indians don’t have the same values like the whites, they agreed without any hesitation. With so many hardships that were presented to them, the Indians have a difficult time to digest the values and purposes of their culture that has been passed down by many gene...

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...y perspective on things, therefore the American society have somewhat conquered my cultural life and belief system as well. For instance, there’s a language barrier between my family and I because I was raised to speak in English. Even though I can understand the Vietnamese language well, I am incapable of speaking it to an extent that my people truly understand me. Not only am I losing my language but also my beliefs have been twisted. Coming from an immigrated family, my parents believe that education is success and that by being a doctor or pharmacist would provide me a stress-free life. I believe that too, but I also consider the idea of doing what I love to do. It may not be a doctor or a pharmacist, but something that I enjoy doing. The idea of “Follow your dreams” had imprinted in my mind that I don’t necessarily agree with what most Asian people believe.

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