Heritage as an Idea of Oneself in Bless Me Ultima and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

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Heritage as an Idea of Oneself in Bless Me Ultima and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Traveling through humanity is a never-ending story. Traveling through ethnicity is an ever changing journey. Is race or culture a matter of color? Is it a way of life; or a decision an individual makes? Is it an idea one has of themselves? In the novels, Bless Me Ultima (Anaya 1972) and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Alexie 1993), two different minority characters, Tony and Victor, give voice to their journey of growing up and finding their place in the world in regards to their heritage. The characters, in Anaya's and Alexie's novels, relate to a dominant culture, pursue balance in their life by…show more content…
Given these two choices, Tony feels he must choose between them. Anaya introduces Tony to a different culture, as he enters school; there he meets the white dominant culture head on. Tony, now blends a third culture into his life. Tony's heritage offers him two ways of being a Spanish-Mexican-American; in Alexie's novel, Victor strives to be an Indian, period. Victor’s culture, being different from Tony's, breeds different cultural problems. Victor, a Native American Indian, in Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, searches daily for ways to survive being Indian. Victor lives in a white world that continually divests him of the privilege of his heritage daily. The ordinary daily erosion damages Victor--and the Native American--the most. Alexie writes, ". . . it's almost like Indians can easily survive the big stuff. Mass murder, loss of language and land rights. It's the small things that hurt the most. The white waitress who wouldn't take an order, Tonto, the Washington Redskins" (Alexie 49). Victor needs to learn to survive the daily-ness, the ordinary and wants someone to show him how and says: ". . . I have] to find out what it mean[s] to be Indian, and there ain't no self-help manuals for that . . . " (Alexie 211). As Victor wanders through the Native American cultural maze, somewhat aimlessly and alone, Tony is

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