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Facing the Indian American Stereotypes

  • Date Submitted: 10/17/2011 07:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.2 
  • Words: 285
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American Indians are typically thought of as people who practice dancing around fires, being spiritual and being in a sort of “isolation.” In Alexie’s short story, we are introduced to 3 Indians which leave a party to take a drug one of them had recently discovered.   During their trip, many American Indian stereotypes are discussed through actions and thought. There was a part in the story where we are told how the host of the party attained a small fortune from letting a power company run power poles through his land. This part of the story reminds the readers of the stereotypes associated with Indians and their isolated land. Indians often live in reservations and if anyone wants to “take” any part of it from them, they need to pay for it. The way that the money from the power company’s payment is spent (buying liquor) questions the aforementioned stereotype.
Throughout the entire story there is a feeling of hatred or irritation towards “the white people.” This hatred stems from the way they were robbed of their land by the European settlers in the 1500s. There’s a part in the story where the boys are high off the drug they’ve taken and in the process, they envision desirable images. One of the boys begins dancing around a fire and mentions “watching all the ships return to Europe.” Another boy envisions buffalo falling from the sky and shaking all the white people off their beds and sending their plates crashing to the floor. This illustrates not only the stereotype of the hatred Indians have towards whites, but also the way in which people often associate dancing around a fire with Indians.

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