Thisis What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona
Inthe tale, ThisIs What It Means to Say Phoenix,Arizona, highlights the story of Victor and Thomas who move toArizona following the death of Victor’s father. Thomas had lost hismother during childbirth hence, understood the predicaments facinghis friend. Much as his father was absent for the most of his life,Thomas is disturbed by his dad’s death. The two friends create anenviable friendship during the journey to Arizona. They offer moralsupport to one another during the trip. It is during the trip thatThomas tells a tale of how he embarked on a journey to ‘SpokaneFalls’ with the hope of getting a vision at the age of thirteen.Victor’s father found him at the falls and offered food andassistance. The two friends later return to Washington after pickingthe ashes of the remains of Victor’s dad. After splitting the ashesinto two halves, they agreed to spread it around Spokane Falls. Thestory offered the themes and reinforcement for Alexie’s film,SmokeSignals(Grassian7).
Thesisstatement:Humans encounter different situations in life that influence theirbehavior and relations with other people. Thomas experiences,companionship, and stories to Victor offer considerable hope toindividuals facing problems in life.
Thomasis an important character in the story for his high regard for thetribal traditions, although he at times criticizes some of thepractices. We see him greeting Victor at the trading post andoffering his condolences for the death of his friend’s father. Heclaims to have learned of the demise through the wind, sunlight, andbirds. Thomas says, “I heard it on the wind. I heard it from thebirds. I felt it in the sunlight” (Alexie para. 23). All throughthe story, Thomas is seen as an advocate of the traditional ritualsand values. Nonetheless, he remained an ironic commentator on matterssurrounding his traditions and tribe (Alexie para. 26).
Itis noteworthy from the story that Victor had difficulties with hisfather as well as Thomas. The trip to Arizona offered a chance forthe two to bond and recounts their experiences in their early life.Thomas narrates a tale about his experiences with Victor’s fatherthereby, creating a new way of telling stories in a modern settingsuch as cities and restaurants. The failure to get a vision at thefalls made Thomas deduce that humans ought to help one another.Victor’s father found him at the falls and treated him kindly. Theinsight and vision that Thomas gets after the encounter with Victor’sfather provide a major storyline line on the need to take care of oneanother (Gale 23). Thomas, for instance, was raised by hisgrandmother after the death of his mother. Moreover, thecompanionship and financial resources of Thomas are crucial toVictor’s passage to adulthood.
Inconclusion, the story offers a valuable lesson to humans that oneshould accept the past before moving on with life. At times, peopleare required to drop their customary beliefs and practices to conformto the changing societal dynamics. Similarly, human life continues toencounter distinct dynamics that necessitate for changes to mirrorthe new encounters. We ought to assist one another as each one hasparticular problems that affect the attainment of a successful life.The story is effective even in the contemporary society thatencounters changes, which provide new threats and opportunities.
Alexie,Sherman. "This is What it Means to say Phoenix, Arizona."Esquire,1994. Print.
Gale,Cengage Learning. StudyGuide for Sherman Alexie`s "This is What it Means to SayPhoenix, Arizona.".Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Grassian,Daniel. UnderstandingSherman Alexie.Pbk. ed. Columbia, SC: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2011. Print.