In the Movie Smoke Signals, Victor as a young boy was a different Indian. He would just watch how his mother and father behave, which in their behaviors affected him. One day his Father asked “who is your favorite Indian?” and young Victor replied “No one”. In shocked his father and mother laughed it off, but secretly they were expected for him to say one of them. Soon after that scene, the hurt victor had from his parents showed. His mother caught him angrily throwing the basketball in the backyard. His parents drinking and wild nights were finally recognized by Victors mom, which brought shame to her and at that point she declared they would stop drinking.
The change that his mom made for him is an example of the strong bond she has for her family. This shows she would do anything to keep their family together. On the other hand Victors father soon leave them under an unknown reason at that point. His departure infers that something bad is to always happen when it comes to Indians. Indians can just be happy. This torn between the family hurted victor and haunted him for a long time.
This film proves a lot of things. I believe the filmmaker was trying to get across the meanings of where Indians attitude stems from. Also through this movie, it was able to place the watchers into the life of Indians to see where they come from. This movie generally ties universal humans together through the hurt of a loss that I think everyone can relate to.
Indians culture is what makes them who they are. They further their tradition by being a part of it and surrounding themselves with the heritage that makes up their lifestyle. This can be a reminder to him/her life within Indian communities such as reservation. Because some do not want to live under the typical Indian lifestyle, some may escape their roots by breaking out of that environment.
When an Indian decides to leave the reservation, some aspects of him/her life can be affected. Sherman Alexie, the author of “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” was one who left the community he was born in despite his culture. This can be a gesture he made in accomplishing or escaping something. Since many Indians were drunks or Indians who did not make a successful life for themselves, many did not raise above that custom to live outside that life. Sherman Alexie is an example of an Indian who went against tradition to tell the world about their traditions.
Since Indians are not known to leave their reservation, Alexie is proof that one can. The advantage of leaving the reservation is that he/she can explore the world around them and look beyond their culture to find a life they desire. Also a benefit of leaving is that one is able to spread their culture, belief, and tradition upon many other environments besides their own. However there are some disadvantages such as losing their customs and forgetting their heritage. Not being surrounded by Indians can change him/her lifestyle. Even though living on a reservation is a part of Indians life, some may choose to leave upon different motives.
In “The only Traffic Signal On The Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red Anymore” Alex tells a story of reservation heros. The stories he share are about people that were before him who had became known for their skills, basketball being the one Alex and Adrian discuss. They talk about the uprising of reservation heros and their failer.
In the book Alex says ” It’s hard to be optimistic on the reservation.” He makes a statement that resevation stars never finish high school or never finish basketball season. He points back to hiself explaining when he once played basketball before he quite due to looking at books full of injuries before a game. Their is also a current outbreak hero name Julius Windmaker who is the best basketball player on the reservation. In the words of saying its hard to have hope where their from, he illustrate examples referring to Julius. Alex and Andrian sit back discussing rather he will go all the way with stardom or let the typical reservation life as a teenager keep that from happening. They notice he was in good health, but perdicted that that was’nt going to last long. As Julius walked by with his friends, Alex and Adrian knew that they were up to trouble; afterwards Julius was arrested for throwing a brick into a trucks windshield. The accident had reflected his future.
A year later, Julius was spotted drunk before a game and during the game he sucked! He missed shots and through horrible passes. One morning Alex and Adrian woke up to drunken Julius passed out their floor. This was sure example of someone with great talent gone to waste.
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