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The Lone Ranger and the Fistfight in Heaven - Inquiry Method

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1. Elements - The first element of this short story is the white man is superior to the Indian man. The beginning of the story is set in a 7-11 convenience store in Seattle. It was late at night, third shift hours to be exact, and the narrator was hot and could not sleep so he wanted to get a Creamsicle. The narrator knew that the white worker in the store was profiling him, as it was their job to do so. He knew it did not help that he was Indian and had long dark hair. Another section of the story tells of the narrator playing a basketball game back on his reservation. There was a white kid there, the son of the chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and he was very good at the game of basketball. He dominated the game, and was the best player on the court. The story goes on to talk of how the white kid went on to play in college and almost went pro. Even the police profiled the narrator in a section of the story describing when he went on a drive after an argument with his girlfriend. He was in a white neighborhood, and the police in a few words or less told him he needed to be more selective of where he drove because he was frightening residents.

The second element is alcoholism is detrimental to relationships. The narrator would often argue with his girlfriend, and alcohol seemed to be the root of the problem. The girlfriend did not like the fact that he would drink, and compared him to his apparently alcoholic brother. The girlfriend started not to trust the narrator because she thought he would get overly mad. The maker Alexie states that the narrator would "walk through the relationship with an executioner's hood. Or more appropriately with war paint and sharp arrows". The end of the story depicts a phone call between the two after they had broken up. She had called him congratulating him on a new job, and also abruptly asked if he was still drinking.

The third element is it is a struggle to impress one's own people. The narrator went back to the reservation he grew up on. His mother would push for him to get a job, but he was apathetic. He knew his mother and his reservations had high expectations for him, especially since he was an intelligent student who had some college experience. He grew tired of watching so much television, so he started to play basketball again. He soon felt the pressure to live up to what was described in the story as a hero ship. He felt as if he needed to prove himself to the other Indians, and beat the white BIA kid.

2. Form - The genre of this artifact is that it is a short story. The targeted audience for this short story is the white race. The secondary audience is the Indian race. A type of evidence used by the maker to support his element of White vs. Indian is that he does not even name the narrator. This short story also was not told in chronological order. It skips around to support the idea of unsettled life. One tone used in this artifact is sarcasm. The maker writes "I was one of those Indians who was supposed to make it, to rise about the rest of the reservation like a fucking eagle or something, I was the new kind of warrior." This was in reference to his highly thought of position within the reservation. Another tone in this artifact is playfulness. In the beginning of the story, the narrator was picking up the Creamsicle and really just messed with the clerk on duty. That excerpt combined sarcasm and playfulness. The article was written informally also. Only one name was used in the entire piece, and that name was of perhaps the most insignificant person.

3. Maker - Sherman Alexie was a Spokane Indian tribe member. He was raised in Wellpinit, Washington on a Spokane Indian Reservation. He was born with a medical condition that cursed his childhood with seizures. He grew to love reading, which probably spurned his will to later write. Growing up on a reservation was hard and was poor living conditions. Despair plagued the members of the tribes.




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