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English II paper - Essay Example

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Instructor name: Date due: Life and Conflict in Friendship “This is what is what it means to say Phoenix Arizona”, by Sherman Alexie is a short story of two native- American men, Victor and Thomas. The two were childhood friends who later lost the bond they once shared through a teenage fight which started when Victor got himself drunk, tearing apart the friendship between them…
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Download file to see previous pages The story introduces the central character, Victor who had just lost his job and broke but needed to go to Phoenix to collect the remains of his cremated father who had apparently died of a heart attack. He also wanted to collect a pick-up truck and a few hundred dollars left by his late father. He was disappointed when the tribal council could only raise a hundred dollars as cash for this trip. Here, Alexie depicts Victor as a poor, sheltered Native American living on the reservation. He seems to have lost faith in his culture and traditions. He is affected negatively by his surrounding and struggles to find his identity. As he walked off to cash his check, he bumped into his childhood friend, Thomas Build the Fire. Thomas offered to lend Victor the money he needed to go to Phoenix, Arizona. In childhood, all the native American boys in the reservation including Victor kept ignoring Thomas for years because of “the same damn stories he was always telling over and over again” (Sherman, 288). Thomas’ action was a sign of true friendship having offered and given his friend Victor money without expecting anything in return. The only condition Thomas gave was to accompany Victor to Phoenix in order to “watch out” for Victor, a promise he had given Victor’s father as revealed in the text (Sherman, 292). Thomas remained loyal to the promise he gave Victor’s father since the time they were kids, he always looked after Victor. The story brings out the importance of friendship and values such as loyalty and optimism. This interesting character in Thomas presents a person who is hardly affected negatively by the hardship and struggle a contrast of Victor’s character. Thomas also represents a funny, traditional person in the manner he greets Victor at the tribal trading post and expresses condolences for Victor’s loss. When Victor asked Thomas how he learned of the passing of Victor’s father, Thomas answered, “I heard it on the wind. I heard it from the birds. I felt it in the sunlight. Also, your mother was just here crying” (Sherman, 292). When they came back from Phoenix, Victor promised that he would pay everything back. He thanked Thomas for help, but Thomas only replied; “do not worry about the money. It does not make any difference anyhow” (Sherman, 288). Notice that Thomas holds no personal attachment to money, possessions or wealth unlike his friend Victor who is modern, proud and possessive. In conclusion, I think their friendship was rekindled because Victor felt gratitude towards Thomas and even offered some of the father’s ashes to Thomas. When they arrived in his father’s trailer in Arizona, Victor apologized to Thomas. He even added, “I never told you I was sorry for beating you up that time”, and accepts him for whom he was (Sherman, 285). In an attempt to rekindle the alliance and relinquish any grudge, Victor agreed to listen to just one more story as the trip came to a close. With some inheritance money, the story uses everyday life and conflicts inside an Indian reservation to present a parallel between the two characters in the story. Alexis explores life including typical conflicts such as the events that Victor encountered, reflections on his experiences with Thomas in childhood and later their rare ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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