Essay on Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

640 Words3 Pages
In the novel Reservation Blues, most of the characters struggle with their identity at some point. Victor has an especially strong urge to rebel against his Native American heritage, which is apparent in his violent, arrogant demeanor and his obvious problem with alcohol. Victor is tied to his past and has trouble coping with his life as it is, and is in a constant battle with himself, his surroundings, and other people. Early in the book, Victor is portrayed as somewhat of a bully, and he and Junior are even referred to as, "two of the most accomplished bullies of recent Native American history." (page 13) Victor's closest and most meaningful relationship in the book is his friendship with Junior. It's unclear why Junior…show more content…
While he may think that drinking is a way to escape being Native American, in actuality, it just perpetuates the cycle of alcoholism on the reservation. In the early stages of starting the band, it becomes clear that Victor will be the guitar player. Since Robert Johnson?s guitar seems to be somewhat evil, and maybe even possessed or cursed by the devil or the Gentleman, it makes sense that the guitar would end up in Victor?s hands. Victor?s playing of the guitar, along with the cuts and blisters on his hands, could be a sign of his slipping further away from his culture, and the eventual suffering and pain that will come from that. Rock and roll seems to be Victor?s escape from life on the reservation, and in his mind, the only way that he may ever escape it. However, it is mentioned that, ?Though they always pretended to be the toughest Indian men in the world, they suffered terrible bouts of homesickness as soon as they crossed the Spokane Indian Reservation border,? (page 61) which suggests that perhaps Victor is more attached to the reservation and Native American life than he seems to be. When Victor was nine years old, he was molested by a priest at a Mission School. Because of his experience, he distrusts and avoids most aspects of the church. Religion plays little, if any, part in Victor?s life. Throughout the book, it became clear that
Open Document