Personal Themes In War Dances By Sherman Alexie

705 Words 3 Pages
Can you imagine writing your personal experiences to teach readers a theme or the main idea behind the story? In the book “War Dances” written by Sherman Alexie, which published in 2009, is a collection of short stories and personal poems that describe tragedies that can occur in someone’s life and how the challenges can affect their daily purpose. Many of the personal topics that Alexie mentions in his book are the Native American stereotypes, his family’s medical history, and loss of Native American culture. More specifically, the theme of isolation and the concept of unity and togetherness of a group, which is present throughout the book.
To begin with, Alexie wrote a section in his book called “My Kafka Baggage” and he refers to the theme
…show more content…
In another section called “Battle Fatigue”, the narrator describes an interview he had with a man who served with Alexie’s grandfather, he asks about how his grandfather was and how he died in combat. As quoted from “War Dances” by Sherman Alexie, “I know you’re hoping he said something huge and poetic, and, honestly, I was thinking about lying to you…So, I have to be honest and say that your grandfather didn’t say anything. He just died” (Alexie, 605). This quote further stresses the theme of isolation by describing the impression of dying alone when the narrator questions his grandfather’s final word, which can link back to the dead cockroach in “My Kafka Baggage”. In both parts, he questions his grandfather’s and the cockroach’s final moments alive, therefore, shows the readers about their ultimate moments away from their tribe to entering the profound, comforting …show more content…
Furthermore, the concept emphasizes the theme of devotedness and unity of a group, especially, when misfortune hits and many simple or drastic changes are made. Sherman Alexie‘s offensive humor directs the readers through his collection of subjective short stories and poems, therefore making it familiar and relatable to all readers. He self-mocks himself and his culture because the readers can skillfully understand the story or poem. Consequently, the offensive humor joins all readers through stereotypes and creates a passport to all cultures. For instance, in the section called “Blankets”, Sherman Alexie uses many Native American stereotypes to attract and familiarize the readers to the environment with impertinent humor. More specifically, the narrator meets another native man in the hospital’s lobby and they start a conversation about why they’re in the hospital. The narrator explains, in a jokingly way, that his father is in the hospital for a “natural cause of an Indian” (Alexie, 598), which was getting his leg amputated because of alcoholism and diabetes. This joke would offend many Native Americans, but other ethnicities would view this as normal because they would view it stereotypical to see a Native American to be diagnosed with diabetes and severe alcoholism. Although the

Related Documents