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Journal 10-1

In the film Smoke Signals, I found friendship and father son relationship to be some of the strongest messages and meanings the filmmakers were trying to communicate.

Throughout the film, we see that Victor and Thomas are not the best of friends. In one of the scenes we see Thomas’s grandmother talking about how bad Victor treats him. Later one, when Victor and Thomas go on a journey to Phoenix Arizona, we see a dramatic change between the two of them. Victor learns a lot about Thomas, and even gives him a piece of his father’s ashes.

Victor has struggles with his father, but we see that he wants a relationship with his father. When his father leaves, we notice young boy victor running after him, jumping in the back of the truck, and hopping for his father to stay. He later beats up Thomas for asking about his father. Another example of this is when Victor goes to Arizona giving his dad a proper Indian remembrance. We know that his father left and never came back, but Victor still wanted something to do with his father after all the ways he mistreated him. At the end of the movie, a poem is read about forgiving our fathers. It is a strong message that fits perfectly with the story, because we never know if Victor chose to forgive his father, or if he’s still mad at him for everything he has done.

It’s a powerful message of friendships and family, and somehow we can all forgive and forget and give people a chance.


Journal 9-1

In the book, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven, Alexie describes the hardship that he had to go through while living on the reservation. Some of those hardships included all the twelve years that Victor experienced at school. In the short story “Indian Education”, we are told that Victor was bullied, and treated unfairly among his fellow students and teachers. Another example of hardship is in “Junior Polatkin’s Wild West Show”, Junior meets a white girl by the name of Lynn Casey, in his college class. He has a one night stand with Lynn Casey, and they have a baby together. Lynn Casey and Junior end up dropping out of school to take care of the new born baby. For an Indian man to date a white women is strongly looked down upon in the Indian reservation, because the Indians tend to not like the white community.

Being born to a good house hold, we have everything we can possibly want, and we often forget to say thank you. Alexies book was a narrative of his life, and he chose to write about his hardship to show us as readers that it’s not all perfect and great to be an Indian on a reservation. He wanted us to experience his tragedies and his celebration with him. Without the hardships, we would be misleading of the live on the Indian reservation. Alexies hardships are what made his stronger as a man; it’s the hardship that made him a writer and gave him the courage to get out, and be someone.

Journal 8-6

In the story The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven,Alexie lived with a mom and dad who were alcoholics. His mother was an alcoholic who later recovered and chose to change her life. The father on the other hand never recovered and continued to drink regardless of his son and wife.

Alexie’s home situation, never allowed him to build a close relationship with either one of his parents. In one of the stories “Because  My Father Always Said He Was The Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ At Woodstock”, it is clearly portrayed that Victor wanted to be closer with his father through music, because he understood that it was one of his father’s interests. Victor was a main character that represented Alexie in real life. When Victor would play music by Jimi Hendrix or those like him, his father would fall asleep because he was too drunk to function.

In the very first story of the book “Every Little Hurricane” Victor describes a scene on one New Years Eve party, where all of his guests and relatives were drunk and two of his uncles started a fight. Victor, who was nine years old, later goes to find his parents passed out on the bed with the smell of alcohol reeking from their bodies.

When Alexie wrote about the drunken lifestyle Native Americans lived, many didn’t want to accept it, but Alexie continued to write, because it is something that stuck with him from a very young age, and it was alcoholism that gave him something to write about.