The Coeur D ' Alene Indian Reservation Essay

Decent Essays

Our story opens with a monologue and a house fire on what we learn is the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation in Washington. We see a man catch a baby thrown from the second story while the child’s parents die in the fire. The two families involved are our main characters. One family is made up of Arnold and Arlene Joseph, as well as their son, Victor. The other family is Thomas Builds-the-Fire and his grandmother, who raises him after his parents’ deaths. After the house fire, we see that Arnold cuts his long hair and begins to abuse alcohol, and after becoming physically and emotionally abusive, leaves for good to Phoenix, Arizona. After ten years, Victor and Arlene get news that Arnold has died and someone needs to come get his remains, which were cremated. Thomas offers Victor the funds to get there, on the condition that he can come along. Victor reluctantly agrees, and they set off to the bus station. They walk to the bus station and are picked up on the way by two teenage girls driving a car in reverse. During the trip, they encounter a young woman who claims to be an Olympic gymnast and two southern men who take their seats on the bus. Victor tries to teach Thomas how to be a “real Indian” by taking out his braids and changing out of his suit. Once they arrive in Phoenix and walk to his father’s trailer in the middle of the desert, they then meet a woman named Suzy Song. Suzy grew close to Arnold during his time in Phoenix, and saw him as a type of father figure. She

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