Dear John Wayne Sherman Alexie Analysis

1167 Words5 Pages
Professor John Spaulding
Writing 102
29 March 2017
Comparing Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie “We do not want riches, we want peace and love”(Red Cloud 1). This quote by Native American Chief Red Cloud is what Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie wanted to get across in a lot of their poetry. Louise Erdrich, part Chippewa Indian and part German-American, is a poet; although she is most known for her novels and short stories. Sherman Alexie is also a predominant Native American poet. He was raised in Wellpinit, Washington on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Similar to Erdrich, Alexie is more well known for his short stories and poems. Both Erdrich and Alexie are known for their Native American themes presented in many of their works. Erdrich
…show more content…
Although they are associated with different tribes, they both grew up in and around the Native American culture. They both recognize the troubles and everyday hardships their people go through and choose to write about it through poems and short stories. Both authors write about their Native American culture as personal narratives as well as to bring awareness about the topic. Louise Erdrich’s “Dear John Wayne” and Sherman Alexie’s “Crow Testament” present similar standpoints in the history of Native…show more content…
This poem begins with a drive-in movie setting and says “...to vanquish the hordes of mosquitoes. Nothing works. They break through the smoke screen for blood” (Erdrich 1). She uses this statement as symbolism for the whites trying to kill the Natives. The people in the drive-in movie were trying to avoid getting bit by the mosquitoes; but it was also a metaphor for the Native Americans fighting the “white men.” She explains they are trying to keep the mosquitos out but nothing would keep them away; which is also like the Natives fighting to keep their land, but could not win. “They break through the smoke screen for blood” is describing the Whites getting in and killing many people. Similarly, in Sherman Alexie 's poem, he states “Cain lifts Crow, that heavy black bird and strikes down Abel. Damn, says Crow, I guess this is just the beginning” (Alexie 1). He is also using a metaphor for the struggle the Native American people barred. The Crow represents the Natives and the Falcon represents the White people. This is also a metaphor for the white people fighting and killing the Native Americans and the Natives realized the fight was not going to end anytime soon. Erdrich also says “...Only the arrows whining, a death-cloud of nerves swarming down on the settlers who die beautifully...” (Erdrich 3). This part of the poem is about the literal fight
Open Document