Symbolism In Sherman Alexie's The Joy Luck Club

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Symbolism is one of the many literary devices used in this novel to help emphasize the author’s main idea or central message.. The symbolism Sherman Alexie used was to emphasize his main message through basketball. At Wellpinit the reservation school basketball symbolized failure and doubt for Junior because he was always underestimated. Major changes were made once Junior decided to go to Reardan. Junior changed a lot since he went to Reardan Junior built up confidence and hope because, “Back on the rez, I was a decent player, I guess. A rebounder and a guy who could run up and down the floor without tripping. But something magical happened to me when I went to Reardan. Overnight, I became a good player. I suppose it had something to do with…show more content…
But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good” (180). Basketball symbolized hope and development basketball is what helps the author express his message or helps him develop his message. Without basketball and the support Junior received from the students and teachers at the school. The author would not have been able to use basketball to help lead Junior towards his purpose. In a critical essay an interviewer asks Sherman Alexie, “it's interesting that you mention that it [basketball] is as important as it is in inner-city black urban life, because as I was reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I noticed a lot of similarities between the cultures, not only the emphasis on basketball but also motifs that appear in a lot of African-American fiction like racial profiling, marginalization and ghettoization” (James Mellis). James Mellis asks Sherman Alexie about basketball and why basketball is really emphasized in this novel. Basketball is really emphasized in this book because symbolism is used to communicate a message to readers and it was also helped to lead up to the main message. Without basketball being used to communicate the message to readers it would have been harder for Sherman Alexie to carry on the message of the book to
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