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Reservation Blues Essay

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Sherman Alexie wrote Reservation Blues. A novel that relates the struggle of being a Native American trying to succeed in life, in and out of the Spokane Reservation. Thomas Builds-The-Fire, Junior Polatkin, and Victor Joseph are three Spokanes who form a blues band named Coyote Springs. The band begins to gain the support of other Indians and even two of their fans are white girls, Betty and Veronica. Soon they are invited to perform at bars outside the reservation. They meet two Flathead Indian sisters, Chess and Checkers, who join the band. The band is given a chance to audition for a major white record company, Cavalry Records, but they do not succeed. The novel focuses on the ups and downs of Coyote Springs, and the member's personal struggles.…show more content…
(Reservation Blues, p. 7)
The scene begins with Johnson giving his opinion on how dazzling the reservation is. Thomas's answer has nothing to do with what Johnson was talking about though. Thomas is trying to say that even when the land is beautiful (as in what the eyes can see), the Spokane Reservation is a place where millions of Native Americans have died. Thomas believes it is a place full of suffering and broken dreams. This writer believes that even when Thomas is a more optimistic character, who has the hope of his band being famous and succeeding, deeply he thinks his hopes can die as well.
A character who presents deep ethnic identity issues is Victor. He and Junior are known to be "[t]he most accomplished bullies of recent Native American history"(Reservation Blues, p.13) Microaggressions have been defined as “brief and commonplace daily verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults that potentially have a harmful or unpleasant psychological impact on the target person or group”(Sue, 2007,
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