Broken treaties may be a thing of the past, yet the greed for land that underlies it is not. “It was a fair trade, and that was all Victor had ever wanted from his whole life,” writes Alexie. To read both of these authors is to come to the realization that the Indians on the reservation are still waiting for justice, for history to be rectified, for a fair trade. Alexie does not make the social and economic issues so prevalent on the reservations the focus of his stories; rather they exist as part of the fabric of the lives of their characters. This is not a book about poverty and social ills, but rather stories in which these things exist as components of a total understanding of work that is primarily character-based. Alexie uses the repeating metaphor of scars to portray how a history that may only be briefly mentioned or alluded to has made its mark on the characters nonetheless. As these characters navigate the world and interact with one another, they must deal with the concrete scars of poverty as an everyday part of life, of alcoholism, of HUD homes and commodity cheese.

Counterproductive as infighting may appear to an outsider, it is a direct result of living through hardship. In one story, Alexie tells of a group of Indian boys that put a severely intoxicated man from the reservation on a roller coaster, and then laughed about it. This was one of the parts in the book inspired by real life events, Alexie tells us in the Introduction to the book, and one which he wrote about to try to gain some sort of understanding on the event. When dealing with so much hurt, sometimes the easiest scapegoat is the one directly adjacent, such as neighbor, friend, or sibling. Brothers Adolph and Arnold begin Alexie’s book locked in an epic battle of fists. Historical FictionHeather Gates, Ep. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. 0 of 8192 characters usedPost CommentNo HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Fascinating. Reservation life is like living in the third world. Our shame. I liked the movie “Smoke Signals” also, and didn’t realize it was based on this book. Off to read the second installment.

The kitchen pic was actually a joke, I was playing ’50’s housewife because I’d found an old apron my great-grandmother had sewn. I think it was on Easter, so I probably had makeup and my hair done for once. I’m usually much less put together, working from home means some days when I get dressed in the morning, I just put on fresh pjs lol. At any rate, glad you liked the picture. I don’t know if I’ve known many pisces, that’s an interesting attribute! Anaya, I have a way of looking at things from a different perspective, I’m a pieces that’s why.Alexie is a fantastic writer he has his own style. You didn’t say anything about your pic in the kitchen. I certainly will stay in touch with you, you can’t get away that easy! Your thesis sounds fascinating! I’m glad more schools are covering Alexie these days, he’s such an amazing writer! Big decisions on that scholarship, wow! 4 year is a long commitment, but then again if you really enjoy teaching, or see it as a viable career, its actually not that long at all. A lot can happen in four years, like getting a BA degree.

Or teaching one. Good luck, let me know what you eventually decide, I’m curious! Anaya, I am writing an essay now on sherman alexie. My thesis is how he comes full circle in the last chapter of his novel. I want to write but there are so many different fields to be able to go in to that you have many choices. I have been offered a scholarship by the local school dustrict to teach when I get my degree if I take their money now but that will lock me in for 4 years with them if I do. I saw your pic on your blog of you standing in the kitchen, you look gorgeous. Hi Michael, this is an old comment, sorry I didn’t get to answering sooner! At any rate, for some reason I never really had much of an inclination to teach. Not sure why, just doesn’t appeal to me.

People are always surprised when I say I’m an English major who doesn’t want to teach, but I think there’s a lot of other things you can do with that degree. And when I figure them out, I’ll let you know, haha. I to am seeking my degee in English and with an emphasis in Writing. I read your bio and am intimidated, Abeautiful woman with an intellectual capability to carry conversation. Is the sexiest thing in life to be able to experience. Why aren’t you a teacher? Glad the overview was helpful, I love Sherman Alexie. He’s such a great voice on Indian issues, but he’s also just a really enjoyable writer, social issues aside. Glad to hear schools are teaching him! I am about to read the novel for my Ethnic Lit class. Thanks for the overview. Your writings are Tinged with a certain professionalism. I find his writing to be very earthyand his Reservation realism to really reflect how the life of Indians in general is percieved. Anaya, you are a beautiful woman and I will read more of your hubs. P.S.I will follow you Too.

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