Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a short fictional story written by Sherman Alexie in 1993. The story is about a middle age Indian who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, but despite the odds he rose above the typical stereotype and made it through college. He moved to Seattle to work, and even had a girlfriend; though their relationship was very strained with constant fights, or ridicule. After one nights terrible dream of him and his girlfriend he packed up his things and left to return to the Spokane Indian Reservation where all of his family was. It was to no one’s surprise to see him returning since Indians were meant to make it in the real world, all they were supposed to be good for was living on a reservation, drinking;  he was different since he had been to college, he was supposed to make it. For several weeks he did nothing but flip through channels and ignore the help wanted adds his mom would circle and lay on the table for him. He eventually got back into playing basketball like he used to in high school. After the big game he played, he woke up the next morning and found himself picking up the help wanted ads. He found a job he liked and went off to get it, and that he did, he got a job working at the high school exchange program.  One day though he received a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, checking up to see how he was doing. They talked for a while and both apologized for their earlier relationship, but the story makes no mention of them getting back together. Immediately following their conversation Alexie ends the story as the Indian concludes how his nights are dark, alone, quiet, and sleepless, but what does he really need sleep for he knows how all his dreams end.  

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