Journal 10-3

Posted On December 6, 2012

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The movie Smoke signals was based on a book written by Sherman Alexie, titled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The book and the movie take place on an Indian reservation that is controlled by alcoholism. During a party in the beginning of the movie a fire breaks out in the home of Thomas Builds-The-Fire. When this happens Thomas is just a baby. His parents do not make it out of the fire but Thomas does by being tossed out of a second story window. A man named Arnold dives to catch the falling baby and saves Thomas before he hits the ground. When Arnold stands up with Thomas he gives the baby to Grandma Builds-The-Fire. Grandma says to Arnold “You saved Thomas. You did a good thing,” and Arnold replies, “I didn’t mean to.”  At this point in the movie I was unsure why he sad that he did not mean to save him. After watching I now know that Arnold said this because he was the one that started the fire and was feeling an extreme amount of guilt. Although the fire was an accident if it had never happened he would have never had to save Thomas and his parents would still be alive.


Journal 9-7

Posted On November 13, 2012

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In the book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist fight in heaven by Sherman Alexie there are clear references to the many challenges that Native Americans face while growing up on a reservation. Some of these challenges are alcoholism, abandonment and loneliness. I have never experienced these factors to the extent that are described in this book but everyone faces challenges while growing up.

When times in life get hard one of the best ways to deal with your emotions are through humor, although this does not make the issues go away it does make it easier to deal with. Alexie uses excellent humor in his book to show how life is made somewhat easier when incorporating it in to the hard times. In the chapter “The Approximate Size of my Favorite Tumor” humor is used quite often. One example of how humor is used in this chapter is when Norma receives a phone call and finds out that her mother has just passed away. After she finds out she drops the phone and runs out of the house. Her husband Jimmy picks up the phone talks for a bit and after hearing the news he says thank you and hangs up. He goes to find Norma to see if she is ok. When Jimmy finds Norma he tells her that he said thank you before hanging up the phone. This confused Jimmy because he was unsure why he said it or what he was thanking them for. Was he thanking them for the news of a family member’s death or because the news made his wife cry? The comment made by Jimmy lifted the mood so that the two of them could talk about the news they had just received. This example of humor along with many others,show that laughter is used to help deal with the difficult times on the reservation.

Posted On November 6, 2012

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Journal 8-1

                When reading all of the stories in the first half of the book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie, I can understand how hard it is to be optimistic on the reservation. The chapter, “The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation doesn’t flash red anymore” explains it the best.

The chapter begins with the narrator talking about some boys setting on their stoop drinking. One of the boys on the stoop shouts at another that is walking along side of the road. The boy who walked by was the best basketball player in the whole reservation. A few moments later the boy passes by again but this time he is riding in the back seat of a tribal cop car. The boys on the stoop than discus how many people on the reservation could have made a name for themselves, but they get caught up in making bad choices. Those people would always become a drunk or marry a drunk, losing sight of what they could be. One example is the story of Julius. Julius has been the best basketball player on the reservation for years. One afternoon he went to a game drunk, he made bad passes, missed every shot and by the fourth quarter he was sitting on the bench. This let the people of the reservation down, and they began talking about a younger player that was looking good and might become something special.

Alexie ended the story just as it had begun, with the boys sitting outside when a group of children walk by on the street. Lucy was in the group walking by, she was who all the people were talking about. She was The next basketball player that could be great. The boys hoped that she would make it all the way and not end up just like everyone before her.

Hello world!

Posted On October 30, 2012

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