Analysis Of Sherman Alexie's The Approximate Size Of My Favorite Tumor

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In Sherman Alexie’s short story excerpt, The Approximate Size of my Favorite Tumor, he highlights the identity of his people through the use of humor. Humor is perpetually seen throughout this work, defining Alexie’s style and view of the world around him. It is both a coping mechanism and a way of communicating with those around him, as it is a language everyone can understand. In this sense, it weaves together Alexie’s view of Native American identity. Alexie uses this humor both to subtly reveal stereotypes about Native American people and communities and to maneuver through everyday life. A name is an integral part of one’s identity, being given at birth and held on to till death. It represents who a person is. Sometimes someone might go by different names depending on how close they are to another. A name can be altered to tease lovingly or show sincerity. Such an instance takes place within the text. Surnames in the Native American community differ from that of western society. Descriptions took the place of a typical last name, creating more intimate and interesting names. For example, the main character of this excerpt is Jimmy Many-Horses. While Jimmy speaks with a cousin, he is fondly called “Jimmy Sixteen-and-One-Half-Horses” (Alexie 157). This reveals a relationship that is close enough to give nicknames. Later on, the character calls him “Jimmy Zero-Horses” to show solemn disappointment (Alexie 157). This remorseful teasing reveals the intimacy of these
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