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Journal 10

The movie, Smoke Signals, had quite a few differences from the book The Lone Ranger and Tinto Fist Fight in Heaven. Since the movie is based off the book, they also have a lot of similarities.

In the movie, Arnold (Victor’s Father), saved Victor and Thomas in a house fire. Growing up, Victor always saw his father drunk. He hated when his parents drank. One night Victor was so so of his drunk parents he started chucking beer bottles at the truck. His mother woke up and saw Victor doing this act. She stated that she would never drink again. Arnold was furious when he heard this, hitting his wife and leaving the Rez. Victor chases after him hopping into the back of the pick up. His Father got out of the car, hugged Victor, set him back down and drove off.

Victor and his father had a very weird relationship. One moment Victor doesn’t like his father and the next moment loves him. He doesn’t really know how he feels or how he should feel. Along the journey to Phoenix, Thomas tells all of these stories about Victor’s father. Thomas thought Arnold was a great man, telling Victor that he should love his father for he has been there for him. Victor refuses to listen to Thomas’ stories. He felt obligated to go to Phoenix, not out of love but out of force. On the way back, Thomas kept telling his stories and making Victor think. Victor then realized that this was his father, the one that raised him, loved him, and cared for him. Victor finally understood the stories and set his father free.

The book and the movie have its differences, but in the end they both come out to be the same and the themes match. Fathers on the Rez are mostly drunks who through their lives out the window, always relying on alcohol. Sons of these fathers go through a lot and see their fathers as role models, corrupting them to be like their fathers. Victor in the book is an alcoholic but in the movie he claims to have never had a drop. Although Victor was made at his father, he had a special connection with him.


Journal 9

              Sherman Alexie spent his child hood on the reservation. Growing up he questioned himself whether he could would his life on the reservation. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages, Alexie had to chose and had little time to decide. 

               Leaving the reservation has his disadvantages. Leaving one’s home at such a young age is one of the toughest things to do. Not only just leaving home but everything else, family, friends, and the atmosphere. It is tough on the person leaving that all behind as well as being the one to have someone leave. Think of it as a closest family member or friend leave knowing they will be making new friends and relationships. Some may be upset and angry with one leaving, telling them that they are crazy and may not want them to come back. Whoever lives on the reservation stays on the reservation. Ones leaving may not realize the responsibility of facing things on their own. When we went off to school, we left everything back home, parents, siblings, friends, etc. We started with something new, not knowing what is next to come. 

               There are a lot of advantages into leaving the reservation. Leaving the reservation opens up ones view on the world. They experience so many different things that people on the reservation will never be able to experience. Being on their own they learn how to live and what to do. Getting education outside the reservation gives one the opportunity of a life time. They have the chance to get a good job and live life without any worry of money. Having a good job enables one to go back to the reservation and help support the families. Staying on the reservation could potentially turn one into an alcoholic. Then throwing away their lives.

               Leaving the reservation gives one the best opportunity that they would otherwise not get by living on the reservation. 

Journal #8 Response

In The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie talks about the life of an Indian on the reservation. Life is much different than that of a white man. As Alexie describes in his many stories, Indians on the reservation are alcoholics and poor.

In the short stories, the main character, Victor, is an Indian boy who grows up facing many different things in his life. As a child, his father and mother were together. His parents were both involved with alcohol but his father was hardly ever sober. On the reservation all the Indians were involved with drinking. Victor could never get away from it, eventually being an extreme alcoholic himself. Alcohol can destroy and ruin the opportunities that people have. In the story The Only Traffic Signal On The Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red Anymore, is a teenager that drinks. He used to be a good basketball player but alcohol has screwed him over. A kid from their school, Julius, is an amazing basketball player that has so much potential to make it far. Julius, who also got into alcohol, messed up his chances buy getting drunk and being caught by the cops.

Alexie describes the reservation in a negative way, as if he is ashamed of all that went on. When the Indians were forced to move to reservations, they picked up all the negative things the white men do. Indian’s have turned into careless people who rely on alcohol to make it through the day. Being exposed to this all the time sets a bad example for all the children. Peers have a huge impact on the behavior of children.

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