He had planned to talk about his book Macho, but when he faced the crowd of teachers, his experience at school came back into his mind. He said he had faced a lot of abuse and his efforts to overcome bad teaching and become a writer. He admired good teachers with all his heart but criticized bad teachers. That presentation was not what the audience expected. Some reacted cruelly and left, but most of audience stayed and listened to him. After that, Victor was invited to give more speeches to let the audience know what worked in their education system.
There are many scenes throughout the film that display Thomas’s need to be friends and heard by Victor. The scene in the market where Thomas offers to pay to get Victor to go to his dad in Phoenix, as long as he can come along is a great example. Both boys were raised together and both without a solid father figure. We learn that Victors father left when he was still a young boy due to alcohol and the fire being a prominent struggle in the native culture. After the scene where Victors father leaves, we see how the possible struggle between the boys began. We learn that Victor’s father had died and they traveled to get his ashes. Perhaps this a reason why Thomas is incessantly bringing up Victor’s dad and telling stories, true or not. is the
Sherman J. Alexie, is a short story written in the first person focusing on two Native American Men who grew up together on a Reservation for Native Americans but have been estranged from each other since they were teenagers. Victor who is the narrator of this story is a young man who lost faith in his culture and its traditions, while Thomas our second main character is a deeply rooted traditional storyteller. In the beginning of the story Victor, our Native American narrator learns the death of his father. Jobless and penniless, his only wish is to go to Phoenix, Arizona and bring back his father’s ashes and belongings to the reservation in Spokane. The death of Victor’s father leads him and Thomas to a journey filled with childhood
The humor in this scene comes from how much their opinions differ on the matter. While Victor’s view of the ideal Indian is accompanied with stoic faces, and warrior looks, that supposedly resemble how an Indian looks once he’s just got finished killing a buffalo. Meanwhile Thomas has a more historical and traditional view, even stating that their tribe were fisherman, not hunters. This type of juxtaposition between characters creates humor, while highlighting subtle differences in each
Victor thought that Thomas might be able to help him because “Victor felt a sudden need for tradition” (78). This quote means that after Victor’s fathers died he wanted to feel like he belongs to the tribal community and traditions. Thomas offers to lend Victor the money on the condition that he accompany Victor to Phoenix, Arizona.
Throughout the story Victor replays moments in his mind. Times when he and Thomas were best of friends. Times when he loved listening to Thomas' visions about life and stories with hidden lessons. Times when Thomas was there for him and even a time when Thomas helped to save his life. The good memories turn to visions of Victor turning his back on his best friend. Victor is faced with the reality of his cruel actions and choices. Of how he chose to go with the rest of the 'pack' and attack the 'weak' one. Victor recalls being drunk when he was fifteen and beating up Thomas for the fun of it. How all of the other boys on the reservation just stood and watched and how he may have continued beating Thomas
Stereotypes are shown in the story through the binary depictions of Victor and Thomas Builds-the-Fire. The most important binary that is emphasized by Alexie is the stereotypes that Victor is “bad,”while Thomas is good. Victor is portrayed as the negative views of Indians. “Victor was really drunk and beat up Thomas up for no reason at all” (Alexie). In this situation, Victor is shown as the typical drunk Native American. Other stereotypes that are presented by Victor are that Indians are lazy when he fails to be persistent to try to get more money to get to Phoenix. When Victor beats up Thomas as a teenager, this depicts Victor as the bloody savage. Thomas Builds-the-fire, on the other hand, is portrayed as the more positive view of Native Americans. The romantic portrayals of Native Americans include the idea that they are noble savages. Indians are characterized as gentle and connected to the world. For example, instead of being captured as a bloody savage as Victor, Thomas is seen as the noble savage as he appears to be more connected with the environment and nature. Being connected with the nature and the world shows that Thomas-Builds-the-Fire is is not a selfish person. Also, instead of being viewed as lazy, Thomas Builds-the-Fire appears as diligent. This is because Thomas continued to
Even though she said so many good things about his father and about things he was afraid of, Victor did not want to show any compassion for his father. It is like the story on Real Boys, Inside the World of Boys: Behind the Mask of Masculinity. Victor was hiding behind this mask so he would not show his emotions. However, after the accident, he began to think about his father. He understood that no one could be perfect and he finally saw that he really loved his father.
Sherman Alexie says that being funny breaks down the barriers between people. In his short stories, “This is what it means to say Phoenix, Arizona” and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto and Fistfight in Heaven”, Alexie has different characters who tells jokes. Many of the jokes are funny but can lead to many problems is said at an inappropriate time and place. The two characters are already an outsider as Indians, so they would have to watch what they say and do to not offend anyone near.
Victor Joseph’s portrayal of the classic Native American man is exemplified by Alexie’s use of dialogue, costumes, and flashbacks. For example, when Victor sees Thomas smiling as they ride their way to Arizona he says, “Indians ain’t supposed to smile like that. Get stoic” (Smoke Signals). This example of dialogue reveals how Victor believes a Native American man should present himself traditionally, which strongly contrasts with Thomas’s demeanor and appearance. Victor continues on, saying, “Look at your hair, it’s all braided up and stuff. You gotta free it. An Indian man ain’t nothing without his hair.” (Smoke Signals). Hair design is used to symbolize Victor’s close ties with his ancestral past as a Native American. Additionally, Victor’s comment on hair foreshadows when Victor himself cuts his hair, symbolizing a moment in which Victor embraces his traumatic past by accepting who he is as a person. In a more literal sense, flashbacks are also used to symbolize the trauma that Victor experienced in his direct past - living with an alcoholic father, Arnold Joseph, who abandoned him. However, by the end of the movie, Victor embraces this past through the spreading of his father’s ashes.
The character Thomas from “ This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona.” is keeping his word by watching over Victor when he most needs it. Thomas is a guy no one really likes and talk to because he is always telling random stories, people see him as a crazy person. In reality Thomas is very humble, because after Victor beating him up for no reason one day, Thomas still decided to help Victor when he was most in need of it.
Victor. 21. How does Victor look to others, feel about himself, and behave toward his family when he arrives
On their way back, they get into an accident and there was a lady who needed help in the accident. Victor remembers what Suzy said him about his dad that in the fire that took place when he was a baby, his dad always wanted to help him and he did went back to save his life. This hits on his mind and he decides to get help for the lady. His thoughts about his dad changes. At the end of the movie Victor disperses the remains of his father in the river and forgives him for what he did before.
Lorisa Qumawunu June 7, 2013 English 102 Essay #1(revision) “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” In the short story, “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”, by Sherman Alexie, I looked at two characters: Thomas and Victor. Thomas Builds-the-Fire is a storyteller on a reservation who everyone ignores because they think he is crazy. Victor on the other hand is a guy who would not dare be seen talking to Thomas. Thomas knows that Victor is in need of help, but Victor will not admit it. I want to show how these two characters who are completely opposite of each other, come together during a time of need.
Dictionary of Narratology). Because if we identify the character of Victor start from his happy childhood, university environment, but since he created the human-like, the complexity of his life getting worse and worse. He tried to struggle and beated down the monster to reconcile his mistake, and went back to his hometown to safe his family but ironically he couldn’t.