This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Culture And Identity Of The Story “War Dances

702 words - 3 pages

“War Dances” by Sherman Alexi has a theme about the patrimony of the Native American Indian culture and the narrator’s struggle in relation to that identity. This story shows the perspective of the narrator and what it means to be human. He struggles with his dad dying a “natural Indian death” from alcohol and diabetes just as he learns that he himself may have a brain tumor.
In the story “War Dances” the narrator portrays the life of an American Indian who has lost his father, “my father, a part-time blue-collar, worker, dies of full-time alcoholism in March 2003.” (Page 611) He also is dealing with a mysterious brain tumor that he concerns himself with death. “I had to stare at a tombstone with my name on it” (Page611). The narrator is pessimistic with the idea of death, his father’s death, and now maybe himself. In the story he travels through a lonely hospital in search of a blanket for his father who is cold, but instead runs into an ...view middle of the document...

But in actuality he concerns himself too much with death and the meaning of life. Even with this depression and worry, Alexi the author perfectly ties in sarcasm and humor to this skepticism.
In the story when the narrator was in search for a third blanket- due to his father still being cold- he bumped into a Native Indian. After a casual conversation the narrator makes a stereotypical statement about Indians having blankets. In response the other man says, “You’re stereotyping you own damn people” in the way the narrator figures the Indians should have blankets (Page 607). In agreement the narrator follows him [the Native] up to his sisters hospital room to be greeted by the other mans father. The father is a type of shaman in the sense that he has been dancing around and singing in search of the sister’s unborn baby’s nature for a proper blessed name. In reaction the narrator is skeptical of the actuality within this old man’s beliefs but portrays hope in the power of the healing song he sings for the narrator’s sick father. “I felt like an ass, accepting the blanket and the old man’s god wishes… But maybe the old man did have some power, some real medicine, because he peeked into my brain” (Page 607). He further expresses his awareness that these actions would not bring back his father’s health but it was, “good enough” (Page 608).
Alexi allows the reader to understand the point of view of the narrator with the events of him and his father’s memory at the hospital. But at the end of the story the narrator goes through the moment that the doctor says, “Frankly…your brain is beautiful” (Page 620). So he proceeds to inform his wife and family that he is “O.K.” (Page 620). But he is faced with the reality that not one of them would respond the way his drunk father would and laugh.
“War Dances” is a story about the American Indian culture and the narrator’s identity within the culture. I perceive the end of the story with the narrator being content and not so stressed. Just because you are a Native American Indian does not indicate that dying a “natural Indian death” is your destiny. The narrator comes to this conclusion with the appreciation of his struggles.

Find Another Essay On The culture and identity of the story “War Dances

The Death of Louise Mallard and Female Identity in The Story of an Hour

2147 words - 9 pages status, meaning that she had no identity during her marriage. She is merely known as “Mrs. Mallard”, the wife of Brently Mallard. When contemporary concepts of marriage and divorce are applied to this story, Louise seems to be psychopathic in that she somewhat celebrates the death of Brently. Considering the context in which this story was written, however her otherwise bizarre reaction to her husband’s death begins to take meaning. One must

DBQ on identity and unity of the colonies at the eve of the revolutionary war

638 words - 3 pages The revolutionary war was a fine example of unity and a great sense of identity. During, the revolutionary era there were many examples of colonial unity as a group and as a soon to be country. The strength of the revolution was dependent on their unity. The colonists had a strong sense identity and unity by the eve of the revolutionary war. The identity of the colonists was showed in many ways throughout history. The colonists

The Culture of the Cold War

4341 words - 17 pages that we believed in. Whitfeild feels that the most reflective film of cold war political culture is My Son John that intelligently uses the red scare theme as the antagonist in this story about a family being torn apart because of the political upheaval. A single left wing, independent film that did manage to get out, Salt of the Earth, met an unbelievable amount of criticism and even violence. Whitfeild feels that one of the largest affects on

The Bar Scene: A Place for Homosexual Culture and Identity

1881 words - 8 pages . However, this switch in gender roles seldom occur outside the bar scene. Despite the semi-public gender blurring, those who identify with this lifestyle still feel the need to express themselves in an environment most accommodating to their blatant disregard of gender norms. The aforementioned pieces answer questions in regards to why one must live in secrecy, and how this secrecy gives way to the development of culture and identity. Chauncey

The Influence Culture and Socialization in Shaping Individual Identity

1372 words - 5 pages Culture and socialisation are the two major entities that help shape our identity. The culture one is raised in as a child, and the people we come into contact with in our daily lives, can all be classified as encounters we have with socialisation. As young children who enter this world, we imitate those close to us and behaviours begin to form. It is through this imitation we also discover to express our emotions. These characteristics are

"In the Name of War" Written by Jill Lepore: King Phillips War and the Origins of American Identity

1079 words - 4 pages primary source excerpts of the period, tracts, dime store novels and religious broadsides is impressive. While before the war there was a tolerance and respect for Indian culture in these largely White publications, increasingly after the war the Indian's savageness and lack of compassion is stressed. Lepore stresses that the so-called King Philip's War, was really the beginning of a racial polarization of colonists against Indians, of massacres

The Story of the Everlasting Cold War Between The West and The East

1478 words - 6 pages The Story of The Everlasting Cold War Between The West and The East Aziza Howard History 102 John D. Hoptak April 26, 2014  After the end of the Second World War II, The United States became a powerful, respected empire and kicked off with the determination to maintain the success of its military and its economy. Its past experiences with wars and its effective diplomatic influences inserted disquieting concerns in the heart of the

Through Love and War: The Korean War Story

1748 words - 7 pages Through Love and War: The Korean War Story Freddie’s Market during the early 1950s would be the host of much gossip and change. The Corsica Café would lend itself to long political debates and chats over coffee. Meanwhile, the Korean War would be blasting through the decade of the 1950s. The fashions, the fads, the prices, the music, the art, and the infamous Korean War tell the story of the decade we call the fabulous fifties. “I

What is the Relationship Between the Formation of a Modern Chinese Identity and the War of Resistance Against Japan?

2118 words - 8 pages this respect. Yet, the War of Resistance gave rise to an invaluable aspect of Chinese culture that defines the nation today. Dr. Sun Yat Sen talked of a nation divided, four hundred million people who shared customs, habits and race, but could not advance in the face of the international world without one truly essential attribute “ the world today what position do we occupy?... we should … be advancing in the front rank with the nations of

Society & Culture How do identity, the effects of discrimination and degrees of equality affect Aboriginal Australian's in Australian society?

1060 words - 4 pages Society & CultureHow do identity, the effects of discrimination and degrees of equality affect Aboriginal Australian's in Australian society?It is well know that Aboriginals are discriminated against due to their identity and suffer from an absence of equality in the Australian society. The Macquarie dictionary states the meanings of identity as: the condition or fact of remaining or being the same one, discriminate as: to note as different

The Identity and History of the Caribbean

2174 words - 9 pages molasses and brown sugar using rudimentary machines" (40). As slavery was introduced to the system a creole culture emerge and the Africanization of culture. An issue which was brought up due to Slavery is the issue of identity especially for those who are affected by the system. Michelle Cliff in her novel Abeng and her article "If I could write this in fire" uses her homeland of Jamaica to help point out or disagree with some of the important

Similar Essays

The Culture Of India: Types Of Rituals, Dances, Jewelry, Languages, People, And Customs

2378 words - 10 pages . It was first introduced as a dance drama, but its present day dispensation tells a different story all together. Almost like a play, but without speaking. (“Indian Culture”) The Manipuri is one of the most known Indian classical dances. This dance is one out of the six classical dances. This dance got its name after the state in Manipuri. It is a graceful dance, danced by both men and women. (“Indian Culture”) Mohiniattam is a dance from

War And Identity Of The Self

1784 words - 8 pages Human beings, through warfare, negotiate between complete identity and complete ambiguity. Depending on the capabilities of the individual and their strength in battle, war can serve to emphasize either their vulnerability or their power. We see through the many battles, interventions of gods, and gruesome destruction of men in the Aeneid, that warfare allows for a physical expression of our need for unique identity and provides a means of

Religion, Culture And Identity In The Southwest

1006 words - 5 pages identity within the southwest. We, as readers learn the interconnection between these ideas. While his story takes place in New Mexico, much of what he discusses is relevant to culture in the Southwest in general after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. He discusses his family’s conversion to Protestantism and the difficulties associated with this conversion. He also discusses the important ideas of church and state. Works Cited Madrid-Barela, Arturo, and Miguel A. Gandert. In the Country of Empty Crosses: The Story of a Hispano Family in Catholic New Mexico. San Antonio: Trinity UP, 2012. Print.

Loss Of Identity In The Techno Culture

2521 words - 10 pages providing support for my elaboration of the techno-sublime. Whilst Malbon's thesis is different from my own, the responses of some of his respondents as well as his own diary entries have become very important in supporting my thesis that there is a loss of identity or estasis within the particular experience of techno-culture that is clubbing. Thus in a diary entry, titled '4 a.m. - lost for words, lost in time and space, just lost.', Malbon writes