he Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Key to Survival Sherman Alexie's
novel The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven depicts how reservation ...
Survival=Anger X Imagination. Imagination is the only weapon on the reservation. --Sherman Alexie T he Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Key to Survival Sherman Alexie's novel The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven depicts how reservation Indian's survive their hardships that mainstre am society has put on them, with the use of emotion and imagination. Survival for Alexie's Indians is, "not to slow dance with [their] skeletons (21)." The reservation skeletons are the anger of the past and the dreams of the future that each Indian needs to combine to survive in the present. Alex ie's novel shows these different phases through his characters that are trying to find the combinati on to survival. In Funhouse Aunt Nezzy is trapped within a patriarchal society, which has oppressed her talents and her dreams. Living in an environment where there is no respect for women has suppre ssed Aunt Nezzy's ability to understand her path in life. Her craft of making buckskin outfits giv es her, her only hope, " a woman comes along who can carry the weight of this dress on her back, the n we'll have found the one who will save us all (76)." Aunt Nezzy's imagination gives her strengt h by looking into the future for hope of a savior however; her environment helps her realize that sh e is lingering in her dreams. Anger from past oppression from Aunt Nezzy's family and her dreams of a savior triggers a reaction that helps Aunt Nezzy's balance her skeletons. " She stood, weakly. Bu t she had the strength to take the first step, then another quick one. She heard drums, she heard si nging, she danced. Dancing that way, she knew things were beginning to change," Alexie not only sho ws that Aunt Nezzy anger has triggered her to stop the oppression within her home but she know holds the power to change it for all Indian women (82). The images and anger of the past have helped Aun t Nezzy find her life within the present by reminding her that Indian women are strong and can bear the weight of the reservation. Other characters within Alexie's novel, like Thomas Builds-the -Fire, remain in one phase of the survival equation. Thomas imagination keeps him close to his skeleton o f the future, which makes him an outsider, "he looked around our world and then poked his head throu gh some hole in the wall into another world (Alexie 14)." Thomas is a modern day storyteller who ha s many images that can teach his people how to look into the future. However, Thomas does realize that he holds the power to trigger others people emotion by the power of his words, "that contained more emotion and meaning than entire sentences constructed by the BIA. A noise that sounded like rai n had given Esther courage enough to leave her husband, tribal chairman David Walksalong (Alexie 94) ." Alexie shows that Thomas is holding on to the future when he does not get anger at the fact that he was sent to jail because he has inspired someone to learn how to survive. In fact, mainstream so ciety is scared of Thomas's gift of storytelling, " a storytelling fetish accompanied by an extreme need to tell the truth. Dangerous," because his stories trigger people ideas of survival (Alexie 93) ". These futuristic stories Thomas tells gives Alexie's Indians images of a society where, "Custer could have, must have, pressed the button, cut down all the trees, opened up holes in the ozone, flo oded the earth. Since most of the white people died and most of the Indians lived, [he] decided onl y Custer could have done something that backward (104)." Thomas character in the novel is to be a me diator in helping other Indians realizes that there is a future of hope for the reservation Indians. Alexie shows Thomas's character as being close with his future skeleton to portrait someone that c an help trigger the survival equation within the reservation. On the other hand, Victor is stuck dan cing with his past skeleton according to Alexie's survival equation. . In All I Wanted to do was D ance Victor believes he can solve his problem about the woman that left him by flashback to the good times. However, his flashbacks are only filled with violence and alcohol that make him anger about his behavior towards his lover, "It happened that way. He thought one more beer could save the wor ld. One more beer and every chair would be comfortable. One more beer and the light bulb in the ba throom would never burn out. One more beer and her would love her forever. One more beer an he wou ld sign any treaty for her (Alexie 88)." The alcohol that Victor consumes seems to be his only way o f coping with a loss. This method of suppressing anger has been passed down from Victor's parents, which is shown through flashbacks of his parents when they were still together, "they were both dru nk. Everything familiar and welcome (Alexie 87)." The cause for victors lingering with his past ske leton is that he was taught by his parents how to survive by drinking problems away which causes Vic tor to search for a more adequate survival method. Alexie's characters in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven all are searching for the proper way to balance their skeletons, "but, no matter what they do, [they need to] keep walking, keep moving [with their skeleton]. And don't wear a watc h (22)." If Alexie's Indians stop and linger with the past or the future they well not be able to s urvive in the present. This problem of dancing slow with their skeleton is seen in Victor and Thoma s but both their cases are different. Thomas is a mediator and helps other find their path to survi val and Victor is now learning how to search from mistakes made by his parents in the past. Showing these different stages Alexie's has shown that his Indians are able to cope with societies hardship s through their journeys of finding themselves. Work Cited Alexie. Sherman. The Lone Ranger and Tont o Fistfight in Heaven. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 1993survival anger imagination imagi nation only weapon reservation sherman alexie lone ranger tonto fistfight heaven survival sherman al exie novel lone ranger tonto fistfight heaven depicts reservation indian survive their hardships tha t mainstream society them with emotion imagination survival alexie indians slow dance with their ske letons reservation skeletons anger past dreams future that each indian needs combine survive present novel shows these different phases through characters that trying find combination funhouse aunt ne zzy trapped within patriarchal society which oppressed talents dreams living environment where there respect women suppressed aunt nezzy ability understand path life craft making buckskin outfits give s only hope woman comes along carry weight this dress back then have found will save aunt nezzy give s strength looking into future hope savior however environment helps realize lingering dreams anger from past oppression from family savior triggers reaction helps balance skeletons stood weakly stren gth take first step then another quick heard drums heard singing danced dancing knew things were beg
inning change only shows triggered stop oppression within home know holds power change indian women images past have helped find life within present reminding women strong bear weight other characters novel like thomas builds fire remain phase equation thomas keeps close skeleton future which makes outsider looked around world then poked head through some hole wall into another world thomas modern storyteller many images teach people look into however does realize holds power trigger others peop le emotion power words contained more emotion meaning than entire sentences constructed noise sounde d like rain given esther courage enough leave husband tribal chairman david walksalong shows holding when does fact sent jail because inspired someone learn survive fact mainstream society scared gift storytelling storytelling fetish accompanied extreme need tell truth dangerous because stories trig ger people ideas these futuristic stories tells gives indians images where custer could have must pr essed button down trees opened holes ozone flooded earth since most white died most indians lived de cided custer could done something backward character mediator helping other realizes there hope char acter being close with skeleton portrait someone help trigger equation other hand victor stuck danci ng skeleton according equation wanted dance victor believes solve problem about woman left flashback good times however flashbacks filled violence alcohol make about behavior towards lover happened th ought more beer could save world more beer every chair would comfortable beer light bulb bathroom wo uld never burn would love forever sign treaty alcohol victor consumes seems coping loss this method suppressing been passed down from parents which shown through flashbacks parents when they were stil l together they were both drunk everything familiar welcome cause victors lingering taught parents d rinking problems away causes search adequate method characters lone ranger tonto fistfight heaven se arching proper balance their matter what they need keep walking keep moving wear watch stop linger w ell able present this problem dancing slow seen both cases different mediator helps find path learni ng search mistakes made showing these different stages shown able cope societies hardships journeys finding themselves work cited sherman york harpercollins publishersEssay, essays, termpaper, term pa per, termpapers, term papers, book reports, study, college, thesis, dessertation, test answers, free research, book research, study help, download essay, download term papers