Perhaps Alexie recreates a newspaper article in two separate stories to demonstrate the differences between two disparate traditions for recording an event. Alexie structures the story by “translating” what people say into what he heard. While authored by an individual writer, inked and seemingly fixed, it contains idiomatic and metonymic words, “old-time” stories, themes, and characters, as well as keys to performance, including special codes, figurative language, parallelism, special paralinguistic features, special formulae, and appeals to tradition. Quilts are used as a metaphor for the story’s structure. In this story, Thomas Builds-the-Fire is hosting the “second-largest party in reservation history.

Superficially, he blames the sound from the alwayson television as distorting words. Kingsolver insists she resents his attitude because it would “limit the scope” of most authors; presumably she resists confining authors to composing characters of their own ethnic and cultural background. He says I better learn how to shoot left-handed if I’m going to keep playing basketball. His symbolic descriptions dart between “what if” fantasies of the past, memories of an impoverished childhood, and the reality of the present. I think, however, that Alexie’s own work is important because of its consumption by a variety of audiences, and I attribute the variety of response to his work to the confluence of traditions and multiple registers he taps in the creation of his art.

At the same time, Alexie offers ideas about both the value and the problematic nature of innovation according to tradition—the very innovation needed to overcome the results and effects of stasis is frightening because it is change, and it is new and unrecognizable. A few AIM members were killed and the government arrested 1, people.

Furthermore, we can uncover how Alexie percieves his authorial role in relationship to his membership in his American Indian community; Alexie is a master of literary convention, and the confidence he displays in interviews indicates he is in fact comfortable with the primacy of authorship; however, he explains his complicated role as one which depends on more than singular individuality: He says so many things and the only thing that matters is that he says he and I don’t have the right to die for each other and that we should be living for each other instead.

I think the vast majority of critics cannot arrive at the same combination of Western and non-Western literary criticism Silko uses to read this work, as the relies on some aspects of folklore theory as well as her training as a literary critic to review Alexie’s novel more responsibly.


the lone ranger and tonto fistfight in heaven critical essay

In Alexie’s books, one society doesn’t surround another—rather, societies disintegrate together. Many of the males in Alexie’s stories are proud, but desperate. Indeed, we can examine his content for the hallmarks of Native American literature and traditional narrative themes, including repetition, the “recasting of tribal narratives into modern day story lines, a certain admixture of sacred and profane influences, and the enunciation of tacitly Indian worldviews and personal experiences.

We are also members of tribes.

the lone ranger and tonto fistfight in heaven critical essay

Along with Junior Polatkin and Thomas Builds-the-Fire, he is an alter ego of Alexie, who often uses events from his own life as a basis for Victor’s stories.

Alexie adapted the book into a feature-length film called Smoke Signals inwhich won awards from the Sundance Film Festival. In the following essay, McGrath fistvight The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven as both a literary work and as an artistic cultural representation. At the same time, the artistic features of his work undermine the traditional forms of the novel and traditional character types and themes of literature.

The contrast between the “straight” news and the more mythic rendering of the Indian-created news suggests the latter is a socially created text which changes between event and transmission, a representation of a dynamism not present in the straight news.

Later, we are given another news clipping, this time written by Norma, a reservation Indian, about a basketball game. Certainly, by ctitical on current folklore scholarship, we can demonstrate that Alexie’s work is undoubtedly a folkloric text.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

At the police station, Victor’s father repeats what he has told the police numerous times before: For Victor, she is a kind of ideal Indian woman, who is deeply committed to her people and undaunted by the problems they face. In their modernization, one of the most blatant attacks on their pride and respect for their traditional ways….

One example occurs when Victor says: Alexie introduces the themes he will develop throughout the book such as the relationship between the real and the imaginary, reservation poverty, and the idea of memory as an index of social and individual identity.

the lone ranger and tonto fistfight in heaven critical essay

Thomas, Junior, and Victor take a ride to Benjamin Lake, where they ingest an unspecified drug and proceed to have visions during which they earn their adult Indian names by stealing horses.

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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Criticism

I think all too often, brown people buy into the Western civilization idea of looking at the artist as the individual. Another critic, Gramyo Tokuyama, writes, “Using poignant humor he exposes the cultural demise of a nation steeped in sacred tradition and surrounded by a passionless society. During the trial he speaks in the “voice” of a young pony that survived a horse massacre inin the voice of the warrior Qualchan, who was hanged, and in the voice of sixteen-year-old warrior Wild Coyote at the Ganger of Steptoe.


Lkne example,the year of Alexie’s birth, is also the year of Victor’s birth and of another of his narrators. They also argued that treaties between the Native Nations and the Federal Government had been broken by the United States, and demanded an investigation. The slaughter of native lives and the obliteration of heavenn culture is an unfortunate American legacy.

Alexie mocks whites and Native Americans alike.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Essay

Though he primarily uses the latter two, by varying narrators, and using both first and raner point of view, Alexie creates a complex portrait of Native-American life as filtered through multiple sensibilities. I think, however, that Alexie’s own work is important because of its consumption by a variety of audiences, and I critival the variety of response to his work to the confluence of traditions and multiple registers he taps in the creation of his art.

Somehow she was still waiting for Crazy Horse. The tribes had few avenues through which to challenge the government untilwhen the Indian Claims Commission was created to settle claims filed by Indian tribes against the United States.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Essay

In this essay, Semansky considers the role of storytelling in Alexie’s stories. Certainly, the work suggests that Thomas Builds-the-Fire is NOT a valued conduit of tradition; as Victor explains to us, “Thomas was a storyteller that nobody wanted to listen to … Nobody talked to Thomas anymore because he told the same damn stories over and over again.

There are so many similarities between the characters in Alexie’s stories and Alexie’s own life that the collection can also be seen as Alexie’s attempt to tell the story of his life by mythologizing it.