Smoke Signals Film Analysis

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In the movie, Smoke Signals, directed by Chris Eyre, illustrates how drinking destroyed many of the people's lives in the Coeur d'Alene Reservation, mostly centered around Arnold Joseph's life. Viewers can see as the plot progresses, drinking was the reason why the majority of the pain and suffering that happened in the reservation; from the fire that killed Thomas Builds-the-fire's parents to the undoing of Victor Joseph. The screenwriter paired Arnold's drinking habit as metaphoric to destruction to show that drinking causes pain and suffering to those who drink and those around them.
Arnold's drinking caused him to accidentally set fire to Thomas's home when he was a baby which killed his parents. This ruined Thomas's chance to live in a typical nuclear family, caused emotional strain to those on the reservation, and also made Arnold keep what he had done a secret. Keeping that secret wore Arnold down from not being able to tell anyone what he had done and destroyed who he was at the time. It was shown by him, saying he was no hero when Thomas's grandma thanked him for saving Thomas. Also him cutting his long hair short, so he could think of his-self as a separate person from the man who had destroyed Thomas's family.
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If he did not have a problem with drinking, he would most likely not beat his wife and son, set fire to Thomas's house, left his family, and end up dying alone in a mobile home. Arnold would not have to deal with the guilt of being the reason why his neighbors were dead and beating then leaving his family which he erred to go back to. Arnold had a family picture with the word 'home' written on the back hanging up where he would see it every day. This picture would serve as a reminder of what he did have and all of the terrible things that he had caused him to drink even more, so he would not have to remember. Arnold himself says that he broke three hearts the day he left on the journey to Arizona, he broke not only his heart but Victor’s and

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