Native American Hero

1873 Words8 Pages
The word hero may bring to mind images of spiderman or batman, but it doesn’t take a talented illustrator to create a hero. A heroic action is a sacrifice made in order to reach a higher level of society. In this sense, the age of exploration that began in the fifteen hundreds is classified as a heroic event. The explorers who paved the way to modern civilization opened opportunities for technology, increased diversity, and a stronger economy. The effect their voyages have had on the world today outweigh the mistakes they made along the way. The age of exploration presented a need for new technologies and inventions that hadn’t been of previous use. In order to make it across the ocean, explorers required more advanced boats and detailed maps.…show more content…
Many Native Americans live on reservations that were established in 1851 under President Andrew Jackson. Life on a reservation is not glamorous. A majority of the stories are filled with alcohol, suffering, death, and sadness. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie details some of the experiences that that Native American culture faces. Arnold reflects on the treatment of Native Americans when he states “We Indians have lost everything… We only know how to lose and be lost”(Alexie 173). Tribes such as the Aztecs and Incas were almost entirely wiped out by the conquistadors who took their land and riches. It was a mistake that could have been avoided, but the fact that it happened cannot be undone. Native American people are not told that they have no place in society. As many other ethnic people have done, they have the opportunity to hold onto their past while becoming a part of something bigger. The United States holds stories of pain, suffering, and hardships, but it takes all of these unique perspectives and it blends them together. America 's culture is woven by the culture of the people it contains. Native Americans are another chapter of the story that can be honored and…show more content…
Sherman Alexie shows Arnold struggling with the unfairness of living in poverty many times throughout the book. Arnold has built up a hatred for the injustice that is his life; however, he takes control to decide his own fate and finds advice in one of his teachers on the reservation. Mr. P tells him “You’re going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation”(Alexie 43). Walking away from the reservation is not the challenge that Arnold faces, but it is instead the trials he faces along the way that hurt him the most. It is never clear how Arnold feels about his decision in the end, yet it becomes obvious that leaving the reservation was a positive choice for him. Enrolling in a new school provided him with opportunity that he may not have otherwise had. It wasn’t blocked from him his whole life: it was a choice. Arnold was given the option between a murky future and the potential of a new start, but he didn’t take this new start over his culture. He still attended powwows and dances because switching schools did not take away his past. Finding his own path certainly was not easy, but it was possible. The Age of Exploration led to a rocky path for Native Americans. It did not seal their fate. The explorers who define the Age of Exploration did not have an easy job. Their occupation was not one that they knew much about. There is no doubt
Open Document