The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Self-Reflection and Cruel Irony in "Amusements" College

Sherman Alexie’s “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” is a collection of short stories all having to do with the relationship between Indians and white people or the growth and development of the main character, Victor. In the short story “Amusements,” the story of a drunken Indian man named Dirty Joe is told. Victor and his friend Sadie put Dirty Joe on a roller coaster when he is so inebriated that he is passed out, this leads to a crowd watching and laughing at Dirty Joe while he incoherently rides a roller coaster. While Alexie definitely creates a divide between white people and Indians, his main characer is forced to look at his own actions and reconsider how he can negatively affect this divide.

If we look at Victor’s actions and reactions in “Amusements” we will see that Victor recognizes that his actions are part of the problem with the divide between Indians and white men, which is important because it shows how a person has the potential to learn from the hardships of life and use these for personal growth. First and foremost, we see the blatant prejudice that the white people show against Indians. The fear of leaving Dirty Joe alone at the carnival is apparent, “we both knew we couldn’t leave another...

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