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“This is what it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie Review

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    A Native American novelist Sherman Alexie has written this short story “This is what it means to say Phoenix, Arizona.” It was first published in 1994. Sherman Alexie was born on October 7, 1996 in a Native American family. Mostly his novels, short stories and movies are about American tribes. In this story, he tries to describe American tribes’ life style, cultures and traditions. Once Victor’s father left suddenly from earth for eternal life, and Victor became alone. Thomas and Victor start journey towards Arizona to gain ashes and an old pickup truck. Thomas does believe strongly in tribal traditions and their daily life. When Thomas heard about Victor’s father’s passing away, he tries to help victor winningly and stay with victor.

    When Victor asked, then Thomas answers it by tribal traditionally. He answers nicely, “I heard it on the wind. I heard it from the birds. I felt it in the sunlight. Also, your mother was just in here crying.” (PP.132) Thomas has a memorable history with Victor’s father. At age thirteen years old, he trips towards Spokane Falls which is more than fifty miles away. He also starts journey towards the fall. He gets trouble several times. Victor’s father rescues/helps him from harm. From this situation Thomas realizes that we are completely dependable each other in the world. For instance, Thomas lost his mother when he was born. His grandmother took care of him since childhood. So, he can feel sympathy about Victor’s loss. They share the ashes. Finally, they ended their journey together at river, Spokane Falls. In this short story, the most touching is about recuperation. They were raised together with Native American Tribes culture since their childhood. Of the two boys, Victor becomes antithesis, and day by day he loses his faith. Both Thomas and Victor completely believe Native Indian Tribe’s tradition.

    “Throughout the history of North American settlement, the territorial dispossession of indigenous peoples has gone hand in hand with natural resource exploitation”(13 Aug. 2015). In this source, there are so many problems in Native American community. In the America they face so many struggles in every single time. There are some different kinds of problem are poverty, education and job etc. These are very major issues in their community.

    Positively, the journey changed/improved their relationship. According to the story, when Thomas was a child he got helped by Victor’s father in so many ways. Oppositely, Thomas tries to help Victor to get ashes and his father’s savings account. After his father’s passing away Victor falls into problem such as economy, transportation etc. He had only one hundred dollars that moment. In this situation, Thomas helps Victor economically, and he joins journey with Victor. father’s works. They turn into a family member to each other. After the Arizona Journey their relationship headed closer than in the past. They do everything together such as Victor’s.

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    “This is what it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie Review. (2021, Aug 31). Retrieved from

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