We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Indian Culture in Past and Present Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Indian Culture in Past and Present Essay Sample

What does it mean to be a modern Native American? How does their historical culture influence today’s society? Sherman Alexie does an outstanding job of influencing his characters with culture and traditions. He also outlines the societal problems experienced on the Spokane Indian Reservation and the struggle between the individual Native American modern lifestyle and the Native American historic culture. In the story “This Is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” Alexie writes about two men who travel to Phoenix, Arizona to retrieve the remains and belongings the one of the character’s deceased father.

They end up learning more about themselves and their culture on the journey. Alexie specifically chose the two characters, Thomas Builds-the Fire and Victor to depict the differences that they had toward the Native Indian traditions and their modern way of thinking. Thomas Builds-the-Fire represents the traditional aspect and is recognized for his storytelling. Victor represents the modern aspect. Culture plays an integral role on who we are. It will influence how we behave, think and believe. Our cultural history defines the next generation and their beliefs.

“This Is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” is a story that outlines the culture, traditions, and societal problems experienced by the American Indians on the Spokane Indian Reservation. seems to fight against a sense of community and tradition while living on his. reservation. This story represents the relationship between the individual Native American modern lifestyle and the American Indians historic oppression. Victor is trying to locate his identity while Thomas is content with his. Thomas represents the storytelling tradition while Victor is torn between the outside world and the reservation he grew up on.

Victor’s father abandoned him and the reservation when he was young, leaving Victor with a disconnect to the Native American Indian culture. Quote. Victor is plagued with money problems and unemployment concerns. Example from story Thomas is seen as an outcast while Victor is more confident is his demeanor. Example from story Oppression plagues most Indian Reservations with underemployment, widespread alcoholism and desperation which have caused many to flee the reservations. Alexie himself left the reservation for the hope of a better life.

Alexie is known for the accurate depiction and semi-autobiographical work which has an underlying feel good story of transformation. “Tribal identity, the centrality of storytelling, and the cyclical structure of Alexie’s narrative originate within traditions of ceremonies, where communities engage in remaking themselves. ” Explain how relates to story “Each of these modern reservation characters is stuck in no man’s land, where their past has nearly been eradicated by American colonialism, their present is characterized by oppression and racism, and the future is envisioned as a continuation of the present.

” Explain how relates to story Alexie uses his own experiences and the influence of the society to outline the societal issue of alcoholism and abuse. “As Alexie’s poetry and prose uncompromisingly demonstrate, communities are far from uncomplicated and are frequently themselves destructive, as with communities of substance abusers. ” (_______) Alexie doesn’t shy away from addressing the problem of alcoholism within reservation life, and the problems with the stereotypes that follow. In one of Victor and Thomas’ childhood stories, a 15-year-old Victor gets drunk and “beats Thomas up for no reason at all” (Alexie, 65).

Victor is a representation of those who assume all Native American drink, and in doing so they fail to explore the reasons behind it. For Victor, there are many: his father leaving, his lack of education and future, the cycle of violence and poverty he and his community are trapped in Conclusion Alexie how they are forced to walk the line between assimilation and isolation, something Victor is ultimately able to overcome by the end of the story, through rediscovering his own native identity and reconnecting with those in his community, such as Thomas, by returning to the reservation he symbolically left many years earlier.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Caribbean Political Thought

“Where is our philosophy?” a question repeatedly asked by Tim Hector, an Antiguan journalist. From the early historical beginnings in the late 15th century, there has been uncertainty in regards to both the geographical and cultural aspect of the Caribbean region. G.K. Lewis (1983) documents that even after the geographical puzzle was fixed, a cultural puzzle continued. It is clear that the question given pertains...

The culture life in US and Viet...

It is obvious that each country will have a different culture life. America is a densely populated and ethnically diverse country, so it is essential to equip yourself with the cultural, social and human knowledge of your country. As far as I understand have a lot of differences in culture life such as celebration, greeting, eating manners, housing between Americans and Vietnamese people. And this...

Hospitality: History, Politics and Culture

“Hospitality”, by the virtue of the term itself has a broad domain of expanse. In a generalized framework, the term refers to the friendly and warm reception and entertainment of the guests by the hosts. The concept, having its origin from the Latin word “Hospitalitem”, has been prevailing in the global scenario through ages. Over the years, the practice of hospitality has experienced considerable dynamics...

Transmission of culture definition

1 Transmission of culture - Toula was born into a Greek community so that is all that she's know and now Ian has to learn acculturation ( learn rules and norms of a different culture). Toula family is definitely big, loud and love to dance. While Ians is family is just the opposite quiet, calm and collective. Though they both come from a different culture...

Stereotypes of the Puerto Rican Culture

“A stereotype is a term that is used to define all different people of certain beliefs, into the negative category that reflect on all racial demographics. ” “As of 2003, there were more Puerto Ricans living in the United States than on the island of Puerto Rico- 3. 8 million on the mainland and 3. 6 million in Puerto Rico” (Rohan, 2006). There was an...

Get Access To The Full Essay
icon
300+
Materials Daily
icon
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
icon
Free Plagiarism
Checker
icon
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access
immediately?

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member