The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Lone Ranger and Tonto: Struggles with Isolation and Assimilation College

Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of short stories that explores the continuing Native American struggles in the modern era. The product of more than 500 years of oppression and persecution, the world of the Native American reservations is plagued by poverty, dysfunction, and alcoholism. Living in one of these reservations, Victor Joseph is a man who is torn between the modern world and the world of ancient tradition. He struggles with issues of identity and the place of Native American beliefs and history in a white American-dominated hostile environment. While going to a 7-11 at 3 am on a particularly hot night, Victor reminisces about the time he left the reservation with a white girlfriend to start a new life in Seattle. Through depicting Victor's tribulations, the short story "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" explores Native American issues of alienation and assimilation, and how these problems can be addressed by members of the community.

One of Alexie's main themes in his short story is the sense of alienation that Native Americans feel in the modern world. The story begins with Victor walking up to a 7-11 to get a creamsicle 3 am in the morning. Once he enters...

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