Summary Of Flight Patterns By Sherman Alexie

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“We’re all trapped by other people’s ideas” (Alexie 63). Labels that are put on people limit them to succeed because they are so worried about themselves and have no confidence to strive for their dreams and reach their limits. In the short story “Flight Patterns” by Sherman Alexie, the story focuses on how individuals are treated due to their skin color. Alexie uses elements such as characters, plot, and tone to communicate the idea that due to racism Americans often misjudge each other. William, the Native American businessman and Fekadu, the Ethiopian taxi driver both identify each other incorrectly due to their skin color making false assumptions. William and Fekadu can relate with one another because they both faced similar problems dealing with fear, family, and race. William hates leaving on business trips because he fears something will happen to them while he is away. Fekadu also has the same fear and pain when he had to leave his family behind when he fled Ethiopia. The theme of this short story is no matter how much we try to prevent it every race of humans stereotypes each other and puts labels on one another. For an example, William states that “People usually think I’m a longhaired Mexican” (Alexie 63). Due to people assuming this they treat him as if he is Mexican and tell him to go back to his country such as when a big pickup truck pulled up next to him a few days after September 11th, telling him to “Go back to you own country” (Alexie 63). William found
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