Sherman Alexie 's This Is What It Means For Say Phoenix, Arizona

1265 Words Aug 14th, 2015 6 Pages
Sherman Alexie’s “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” not only tells the story of two men forming a bond and taking care of each other, but it also tells a story of life for Native Americans. Alexie’s life experiences, including living with an alcoholic father, living in poverty, and leaving the reservation for an education are all reflected in this short story, revealing that life for a Native American is not easy or satisfying. Alexie pours his own life experiences into most of his writing and this is true for “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” as well. By using his own life as inspiration for his writing, Alexie allows for others to know the hardships experienced by Native Americans, primarily demonstrating his belief that people, Native Americans in particular, need to take care of each other rather than allow each other to go through hardships alone. One of the biggest ideas running through the story is that people should take care of one another rather than tear each other down. Throughout the story, Victor is at odds with Thomas, acknowledging their previous friendship but avoiding the development of a friendship with him again. It is the moment when Victor learns of his father helping Thomas that he begins to understand that taking care of each other is how they can survive on the reservation. Instead of turning against each other, they should stand together. At the end of the story, Victor agrees to take care of Thomas when he agrees to…

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