Analysis Of Reservation Blues By Sherman Alexie

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Reservation Blues, written by Sherman Alexie, portrays the harsh reality of how many modern American Indians live today. Alexie utilizes history, cultural commodification and manhood to tell the story of a band who rose and fell from fame. Also by using these three subjects, Alexie is also able to show how Hollywood has been able to destroy the heritage of the American Indian. The bloody history between white men and the American Indians is based on betrayal and lies. Therefore, Alexie uses this information to show how modern American Indians and Caucasians feel about each other. After Coyote Springs failed in New York, Checkers had a dream that Phil Sheridan, the music producer, burst into her hotel room and tried to kill her. In her dream, …show more content…
Hollywood is a prime example of what causes the perception of Native Americans to change. For example, Betty and Veronica are described to be wearing, “Turquoise rings, silver father earrings, [and] needed necklaces.” These items have become associated with Native American traditions, but many Native America tribes have different meanings for a variety of symbols. Therefore, by associating these items with all of the Indian tribes, the heritage of all of the indian tribes is being changed. For example, when I think of an Indian, I think of a person who lives in the grassland and hunts buffalo, but there is more than that. This novel has shown me that by grouping a single item to all the Indian tribes can cause the perception of a Native American to change. Another example can be found in the short poem, “Dear John Wayne,” written by Louise Erdrich. This poem describes a situation where a family of Native Americans are at a movie and are watching John Wayne, a famous cowboy, kill a group of American Indians. Erdrich sets the story during a movie to show that Hollywood and changed the image of an Indian. The Indians in Erdrich’s poem are described to be killers. However, Hollywood does not portray the truth about the Native Americans and will not show the settlers as being the killers. Alexie also utilizes cultural …show more content…
The Indian tribe that Coyote Springs is part of, bases manhood as being able to fish. However, because of the placement of the reservation, they cannot fish and must become men by doing something else. For example, Victor thinks that by being mean and picking on Thomas, he is becoming a man. Victor also thinks that another way to become a man is to try to get drunk and also to sleep with as many women as he can. One of the main factors that caused the perception of a man to be changed is the movie industry. For example, in many films, a man is someone who is able to show their dominance and are able to sleep with women. This has caused the Indian perception of a man to be dramatically altered into something that is not. Furthermore, by destroying the perception of a man, one is also destroying the heritage that the Native American manhood is based on. Therefore, Alexie is able to use history, culture commodification and manhood to depict the harsh life that many modern American Indians deal with. He also uses these three subjects to show that Hollywood has somewhat destroyed the heritage of the Native American

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