Sherman Alexie Evolution Analysis

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The poetry of Alexie is usually composed of short stories and explores many themes. Some of the themes expressed in his work are poverty, despair, alcoholism, and violence (Blue Mesa Review, 2012). His poetry focuses on the lives of the Native American people, those who live on and off reservations. The poetry is filled with humor and wit, with emphasis placed on living as a Native American, being Native American, and the struggle to gain power in American society. More specifically, Alexie’s poem ‘Evolution’ focuses on the relationship Native Americans have with Americans or Caucasians. The use of symbolism is apparent in the description of the location of the shop. This shop is located by the liquor store that is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (Konigsberg, 2009). This is used to illustrate a stereotype of Native Americans having an alcohol abuse issue. Buffalo Bill is another important aspect, as it symbolizes power whites have over Native Americans. There is conflict throughout the poem, which draws attention to themes greed and racism.

The three images in ‘Evolution’ chosen to discuss are pawn shop, buffalo bill, and the museum. The pawn shop was an image depicted throughout to illustrate the greed of Americans. The government was in charge of leading how the Native Americans were degraded and how the nations were
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Blue Mesa Review. December 6, 2012. Retrieved 2018-03-12.

Johansen, Bruce E. (2010). Native Americans Today: A Biographical Dictionary. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Press. pp. 7–10.

Konigsberg, Eric. "In His Own Literary World, a Native Son Without Borders", The New York Times, October 20, 2009.

Kirszner and Mandell, (2012). Lit. Wadsworth Cengage, Boston.

Alexie, S. (1992). Evolution. In PORTABLE Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing (9th ed., pp. 523-524). Cengage Learning. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from
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