Reservation blues analysis essays

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Reservation blues analysis essays

Chapter 2 Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Reservation Blues, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Word of his arrival spreads rapidly, but no one has the courage to speak to him until Thomas Builds-the-Fire, a lonely, dark-skinned Indian man with the physique of an old-time salmon fisherman, introduces himself.

The use of the blues as a framing device is most evident in the songs lyrics preceding each chapter, which often condense the main themes of a chapter. The first thing we learn about the reservation, through this song, is that it is a place where painful history and mistreatment have locked the community into a pattern of suffering that is difficult to break.

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Active Themes The man introduces himself as Robert Johnson, and reveals that he has come in search of an old woman from his dreams who might be able to help him escape the Gentleman.

Thomas sees the sickness and fatigue in Johnson, and recognizes the weight that he himself feels as a storyteller, enslaved in some ways by his art.

He invites Johnson home to play some songs. Johnson, who has been on the run since he first faked his Reservation blues analysis essays to escape his deal with the Gentleman inshows him his scarred hands, and tells Thomas that he can never play again.

This fantastical tone continues, as the novel begins with a definite awareness of the odd ways that Thomas, as a storyteller, sees the world differently. Robert Johnson was a real historical figure, a Blues musician who became hugely influential after his death. He was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads in exchange for skill at the guitar.

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Active Themes Thomas tells Johnson that Big Mom, who lives on top of the beautiful and mystical Wellpinit Mountain, may be the healing woman he is looking for. Big Mom is the ultimate spiritual entity on the reservation, rivaling the power of the Catholic Church.

Thomas can see the patterns of suffering and painful history that haunt this place, while Johnson is distracted by its beauty. The guitar, a significant object in the novel, is now passed on from Johnson to Thomas and his peers.

She thinks at first that they are singing, but knows this is unlike any song she has taught them.

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She memorizes the song, and then walks to the clearing, where she sees the horses shot and killed by soldiers in blue uniforms. Now she watches as Robert Johnson makes his way to her. Jumping in time unexpectedly, Alexie establishes that time is a fantastical, fluid thing for certain characters in the novel, including Big Mom, who is a supernatural part of history.

The horses establish a symbol for the historical pattern of abuse and suffering that Native Americans endure at the hands of white governments past and present. The fantasy deepens, as Alexie incorporates these famous musicians into the universe of his novel. The man tells Thomas that the end of the world is near, and to be careful with music, which is dangerous.

He steps past the new tribal slot machines and buys a microwave burrito at the Trading Post. Everyone on the reservation knows one another; it is a tight-knit community, and the quirks of each member are known to all. The tribal slot machines are a small sign of suffering and despair in the face of wild, illegitimate hope.

Active Themes Thomas tells them the guitar has a secret name, and Victor pulls him into a sudden headlock to make him reveal it. These tussles are common on the reservation, full of frustrated, macho warriors who are treated like animals by the rest of world.

Reservation blues analysis essays

Thomas does not struggle, but he will not speak. He and Victor make a deal: Victor and Junior often try to shut Thomas up, but he never stops telling his stories. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations Suddenly, Victor smashes the guitar against the sidewalk, and then gives it to Thomas to play.

It is good, silencing the two bullies, and the-man-who-was-probably-Lakota interrupts to tell them that the end of the world is near.

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By now, Junior has to go to work delivering water, and the unemployed Victor tags along—so Thomas escapes the beating. He starts to cry, and the-man-who-was-probably-Lakota tells him that things will be better in the morning.

Thomas notices his hands have small razor cuts on them, where he played guitar, and he drives home with the broken guitar. Thomas cries, a distinctly un-macho reaction, distinguishing himself from Victor and Junior.

The scars are another sign that there is some dark magic at work in this guitar.

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Active Themes Junior is driving the water truck to the West End, avoiding potholes, with Victor asleep beside him, twisting and turning from a nightmare. Junior remembers the Psych course he took at college, and how Freud and Jung said dreams decide everything.

Junior knew that this was true for Indians, especially, since all the Indians on television had visions that told them exactly what to do.LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Reservation Blues, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Race, Culture, and Identity Hope, Despair, and the Blues. Aug 18,  · HuffPost is hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears ― and what it means to be American today.

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LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Reservation Blues, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Race, Culture, and Identity Hope, Despair, and the Blues. Reservation blues essays. 4 stars based on 45 reviews essay on spring season in english atonement library scene analysis essays eigenheimrente beispiel essay constitutional law uk essays and dissertation s essayer des coiffures simple english essays for bsc students international.

Reservation Blues Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes