The Toughest Indian in the World is in the Closet

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Sherman Alexie’s “The Toughest Indian in the World” tells a mysterious story about a Spokane Indian journalist on a quest to find his identity where he encounters his first homosexual experience with a hitch-hiking Lummi Indian male fighter. Through this story, Alexie is able to express the attitudes of sexuality in America’s society. Today, there is a sense of acceptance of overt sexuality, where one is able browse the television or Internet and discovers that all types of sexuality are all around us. From billboard ads, television commercials to the MTV Music awards, there is no denying that it is amongst us. Miley Cyrus performed a very erotic and sexual performance during the MTVVMA’s. Viewers, including celeb-colleague, were not too…show more content…
The narrator evades the fear of being questioned, and cleverly makes it sound like he is a full-time Good Samaritan with the many random strangers he encounters. The struggle of suppressing his truth becomes a constant fear that he must hide from his friends as well. His co-workers at the newspaper know that he picks up hitch-hikers but nor do they understand why. “Maybe I could explain to them why, but who wants to try? Instead, if they ask I just smile and turn back to my computer. My coworkers smile back and laugh loudly. They’re always laughing loudly at me, at one another, at goofy typos in the newspaper, at the idea of hitch-hikers” (Alexie 24). Amongst his co-workers, he fears of being ridiculed and laughed at, but more specifically about his queer intentions. The narrator cannot express himself and accept himself because of the clear negative attitudes that he internalizes due to the hostile heterosexual co-workers. The narrator’s internal fight manifests to a physical worry after having his sexual encounter with the fighter. “Feeling stronger, I stepped into the shower and searched for my body for changes. A middle aged man needs to look for tumors” (Alexie 33). He still does not believe that, throughout his suppressed desires and destined sexual act, he is a homosexual. By making sure, he searches his body for marks, a physical stigma that would identify him with the homosexual group he fears to be
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