Sherman Alexie Identity

1556 Words7 Pages
In the novel Flight, author Sherman Alexie “tries to validate and question ‘the individual’s desire to bridge cultural and personal difference’” (Ibarrola-Armendariz and Vivanco 7). Flight is centered around the main character, Zits, as he transforms into different bodies while simultaneously transforming his identity. He gets insight into the minds of different cultural, historical, and social backgrounds, which helps Zits change from cold and violent to understanding and sympathetic. To illustrate this change more in depth, Alexie uses various literary elements to achieve a theme of identity. Also included in the novel are violence, multiple character perspectives, and development of self. Through these things, Zits is able to learn valuable…show more content…
Alexie creates Zits to be a round character, so he can show the transformational growth that Zits experiences from the beginning to the end. Alexie starts off painting Zits as lost and confused, as Zits describes himself as “not really Irish or Indian” and “a blank sky, a human solar eclipse” (Alexie 5). Zits doesn’t have his own strong identity, which leads him to be unemotional, violent, and cold. Throughout the novel, Alexie shows Zits gaining his own beliefs and perspectives, which help create his identity. By the end of the novel, Zits “learned a valuable lesson” (Alexie 162) that developed him as a more fulfilled and compassionate character. He is finally “happy” and “unlonely” (Alexie 180). Alexie carefully choose this wording to reflect the type of person that Zits became. The diction from the beginning to the end of the novel completely changes from a tone of darkness and depression to a tone of hopefulness and sympathy to illustrate Zits’ big transformation. The way Alexie has Zits describe himself reveals the building blocks of Zits’ new personality and behavior. Zits also describes what he sees and feels in each scenario. Ron McFarland, author of the critical analysis, Sherman Alexie, exemplifies this as he argues that Alexie makes Zits witness “compassionate and heroic behavior” (McFarland 1), which plays a big role in finding a “hopeful solution to the problem of Indian identity” (McFarland 1). Since Alexie allows us to see how Zits feels and thinks, we are able to see that these compassionate events have a huge role in bringing out Zits’ emotions. Zits cultivates a more kind and caring identity and learns to respect others. Alexie carefully chose diction to describe Zits’ behavior, thoughts, and feelings, which allow us to see the development of Zits’ new identity throughout his
Open Document