This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona Essay

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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. Victor’s father has passed away and he needs to get to Phoenix, Arizona to…show more content…
516) Thomas seems to have a gift in his storytelling, they may seem like crazy stories he tells over and over but his stories may carry some kind of meaning. “We are all given one thing by which our lives are measured, one determination. Mine are the stories which can change or not change the world.” (Alexie P. 518) His stories about Victor’s father are why he went out of his way to help Victor. It took Victor a trip to Phoenix to see that Thomas was there for a reason, to help him because they were cousins. When they returned back to the reservation, Victor knew that he still could not be seen talking to Thomas for fear of being ridiculed for talking to the crazy storyteller. “Victor knew that he couldn’t really be friends with Thomas, even after all that had happened. It was cruel but it was real.” (Alexie P. 518) Victor in a way was thankful for Thomas’ help but seemed too proud to admit it to Thomas. Victor knows that Thomas would remain the crazy storyteller. In a way Victor felt ashamed of himself. Thomas on the other hand was ok with knowing Victor would not talk to him again after their trip to Phoenix. “I know you ain’t going to treat me any better than you did before. I know your friends would give you too much shit about it.” (Alexie P. 518) He asked of Victor one favor only, he said, “Just one time when I’m telling a story somewhere, why don’t you stop and listen? Just once!” (Alexie P. 519) In the end of the story, all Victor
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