The story “Crazy Horse Dreams” revolves around a sort-of romance between Victor, a Native American man, and an unnamed Native American woman, who. Crazy Horse Dreams. The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red. Anymore. Amusements. This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona. The short story that I was assigned to comment on was “Crazy Horse Dreams” on pg. 37 of Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto.

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In the end, each has isolated themselves from the other.

A Drug Called Tradition. Alexie also sprinkles his stories with anecdotes of racial discrimination against Native Americans outside the reservation. The tribes had few avenues through which to challenge the government untilwhen the Indian Claims Commission was created to settle claims filed by Indian tribes against the United States. In a feature interview on National Public RadioLiane Hansen quotes a woman who grew up knowing the author: Alexie details the various kinds of abuse Native Americans have endured living under the United States government.

She neither drinks nor smokes, is honest to a fault, is laexie of her Indian identity, and acts as a caretaker hoese other Indians on the reservation, who respectfully call her “grandmother.

I assert, however, that besides easily alexid Alexie’s story collection and recognizing textual indications of meaning and performance, and beyond identifying keys to shermab which indicate how this text might register with people in Alexie’s folk group, I also contend that there is a kind of living dimension to the authored, printed word that cannot be summarily discounted unless we are unwilling to examine and enflesh our understanding of word power and a living tradition, and I argue for a more expansive notion of how folklore processes horae be exchanged and represented.

His first book of prose, a collection of linked stories titled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heavenpublished inwas highly praised and won Alexie a wide audience. He became famous because of beating up a National Guard private and spent two years in jail after that. His father narrowly escapes crashing the car, after skidding on the icy road. Themes and Colors Key.

We can sort through his work and pick out multiple demonstrations of this text’s relationship to the folklores horxe which the author participates.

He is being tried for speaking the truth, after remaining silent for twenty years. A few AIM members were killed and the government arrested 1, people. In this story, Thomas speaks as if channeling the voice of one of the ponies. As more and more Indians leave the reservation, ties to community and family are broken, and those who remain must battle rreams, a crippling sense of stagnation, and an increasing isolation from the “outside” world.


It was also an interesting commentary on power and the relationships between a man and a woman. Alexis Horse was a mid-nineteenth-century Lakota Indian known for his courage in battle and for his fierce resistance to white encroachment on Lakota lands. Which drazy should we add? LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heavenwhich you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Victor and Adrian talk about hopelessness through past and present Indian experiences. Nezzy becomes fed up with her son and her husband’s ingratitude, and leaves the house to swim naked in Tshimikain Creek, refusing to leave even when her husband and Victor plead with her.

Seemingly insignificant events such as a few minutes of a high school basketball game take on epic proportions each time Julius’s story is retold. In this story, Victor recounts memories of his father coming home drunk during the s and listening to Jimi Hendrix play “The Star Spangled Banner. The television was always loud, too loud, until every emotion was measured by the half hour. Silko’s comment indicates the importance of tradition to the writing of Alexie’s work, and she contextualizes his authored literature in relationship to oral tradition and composition, for, as Silko points out, the structure and chronology of Alexie’s book does not reflect standard components crrazy Western literature, because Native American literature has traditionally taken a different shape which does not necessarily include features like Castro’s “plot and character.

Nothing gets me madder than a brown person who says, ‘I just want to be a writer. I assert that an electronic medium, or inked, printed text retains some essence or skeleton of the human being who committed the text to fixity.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven |

In other stories, he speaks in the voice of those involved in the ensuing battle between the settlers and the Indians. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. Winnebago, where they hotse with one another and have sex. We hid our faces behind masks that suggested other histories; we touched hands accidentally and our skin sparked like a personal revolution.

The idea of salvation is at the heart of storytelling in Alexie’s stories—salvation from one’s own destructive impulses, salvation from the appropriation of Native-American history and traditions by others, salvation from the onslaught of technology that supplants human connectedness and colonizes family life.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

But Alexie refuses to define or explain this usage, insisting that we decode it by visiting for a time in the presence of his Aherman characters. Living on the alexiie, segregated from white American culture at large, but vulnerable to its relentless sign system and its mis representations of Indians, Alexie’s characters battle to achieve some sense of authenticity in a world where that very notion has become suspect.


The father admits to Victor on the drive home that he was involved in a car accident once in which a white man was killed, but he was never arrested because the white man had been drinking. As a result, his wife, Norma Many Horses, leaves him, only to return later because the next man she is with was “too serious. The narrator, Jimmy Many Horses, who has cancer, describes his on-again, off-again relationship with his wife, Norma.

Full of practical advice that counter ideas often associated with Christianity, James directly responds to the Christian notion that Christ died for the sins of humankind so that human beings may live, by telling the narrator that “we should be living for each other instead.

Response to “Crazy Horse Dreams” by Sherman Alexie

The call for reader response goes far beyond the provincial “dear reader” that Western canonical writing invokes. I think the vast majority of critics cannot arrive at the same combination of Western and non-Western literary criticism Silko uses to read this work, as the relies on some aspects of folklore theory as well as her training as a literary critic to review Alexie’s novel more responsibly.

In his article “Custer and Linguistic Anthropology,” Dell Hymes declares, “One can believe, I do believe, that about the dry bones of print, words heaped up in paragraphs, something of the original spirit lingers.

In postmodern writing such as Alexie’s, the lines between fiction and fantasy, reality and dream are erased, and the storyline—if there is one—is often blurred. Alexie refuses to extricate his art from its traditional and community context, and repeatedly claims his creative contribution and his tradition’s creative contribution are equitable. Another critic, Gramyo Tokuyama, writes, “Using poignant humor he exposes the cultural demise of a nation steeped in sacred tradition and surrounded by a passionless society.

Can we argue, then, that when writers like Alexie innovate on both literary conventions and oral traditional narrative conventions, his work becomes caught in “flux,” much as, perhaps, our understanding of folklore in literature is? Alexie is a prolific writer who also works hard at marketing his work; his recent projects include the novels Reservation Blueswhich received the Before Columbus Foundation: