War Dances by Sherman Alexie - A Literary Essay Example

4 pages
833 words
Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Breaking and entering is a surprising, involving and thought-provoking story that is communicated in the voice of a human being who challenges an invader in his home and at last the person ends up challenging his own outlooks, and ethnic identity concerning power, race and freedom. The author makes use of the metaphor of editing to point out things that are left out and what is highlighted in the stories that people do tell about themselves and others. The author use breaking and entering story to bring out a lively discussion on power, stereotypes and race and racism (Wyman).

In the story, the author uses different forms of contrasts to pass out significant information. Some of these contrasts include

Information that is included and information that is left out: by the author telling his story using words and not video stock or film to create the storys scene, he attempts to overlook all pointless information. However, oddly enough so that to skip the door while giving his story the author is forced to begin with door (Wyman). By the author editing out the more complimentary nudity and addressing faces and small pieces of discussion, he intends to turn a sleazy gymnastic sex exchange which resembles individuals in a new love and the way they touch one another. The author visualizes this picture, edit it in his mind to add on a sound track. The author drives information that he is a father as well as a husband to the reader. This is a powerful piece of editing that makes him look pale and guilty.

Power, exploitation, victimhood and consent: In the story, the narrator use a young woman who in her permission allow being exploited, but the author strives to ensure that he protects the girl. The narrator says that he was being paid to work with exploiters. It is ironical when the storyteller asks himself the question, So didnt that mean I was also being exploited as is supported to exploit the woman? At this point, the author shows that in order to achieve to exploit other people in the story some people have to be used just like the narrator. For example, the storyteller is saddened by the local media who become exploitative just like other pornographic moviemakers. Wilson brings a great idea when he notes that generations of Native Americans have been persecuted by white men. He says that this is not a pain challenge or Genocidal race (Wyman) Whether, or not the victim was innocent or the killer was remorseful, it is not right to exploit history of others. The author wants people to learn to look at different situations in different viewpoints.

Blackness, whiteness and non-blackness: the storyteller says that although he stays in a black quarter, he is not black. As a result, he cannot imagine the possibility of a black child stealing from him. It is surprising that a black teenager is killed by a white man and the incident does not look amazing to other white persons. Nevertheless, Althea keeps on raging about his whiteness. He says that he is not a white person but a registered associate of the Spokane Tribe of Indians (Wyman, 246). Consequently, the mother of killed black boy decided to blame Althea by accusing him of being a white man who was always in search to harm black kids. As a result, the black people think he is a dorky white person; he behaves like a white as a way to fulfil what blacks wanted him to be. The author reveals the torture and humiliation that blacks face just because of their color. On the same note, the author helps to reveal the narrators ethnic identity by differentiating him from the blacks and whites. The author brings media into the story to point out cases of manipulation and corruption. In the story, media is used to twist Wilsons account, which exposes him as a disrespectful white man who intentionally kills an innocent black teenager due to hatred. Moreover, media shows film clips that were earlier edited by Wilson, purposefully and only includes those with violent scenes so as to mistakenly depict Wilson in an undesirable light. The author uses this scenario to show that in society, people tend to look at only what they want and ignore everything that is outside this range.

Racial identity: Oh, I don't look Indian, or at least not typical Indian Most people think I am just another white guy who tans well. (Wyman, 249) The storyteller says that he is not being holy, he is not a traditional Indian because he never dances, speaks his language, sings pow-wow or spent his free time trudging for Indian dominance. Althea is a nonblack person who celebrates himself and feels comfortable living in the midst of blacks. The author tries to bring out a racial identity of the narrator.


Work Cited

Wyman, Sarah. "Telling Identities: Sherman Alexie's War Dances." The American Indian Quarterly 38.2 (2014): 237-255.





Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the collegeessaywriter.net website, please click below to request its removal: