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Sherman Alexie's Do Not Go Gentle

1241 words - 5 pages

In the most difficult situations hope is the only thing is left. Do Not Go Gentle by Sherman Alexie relates the story of a desperate Indian American couple trying to find a way to make their son wake up from his coma. One day, the grieving father leaves the hospital to buy a gift for his son hoping that he will recover. The father innocently enters a little shop called Toys in Babeland. This place was not a regular baby’s toy shop; it was an adult toy store. While he is looking, he is impressed by a device called Chocolate Thunder. In his mind, this huge, battery-powered vibrator is a powerful symbol of sex. He assumes that if sex brings babies to life, then perhaps it could be used as a tool to heal his child. He buys it and runs back to the hospital. When he gets to the hospital, he turns it on leaving other parents and hospital staff in shock. After a few minutes, they understand his intentions and decide to enjoy the fun. Hope plays a huge role in this short story. It is what takes the desperate father to the point where he finds a symbol of sex as the key to wake up his baby from his coma. People’s hopes, in this case, parents’, change their perspective and the way they look at things. People should realize that things are not always what they seem to be. Instead of looking at the vibrator with eyes of perversion, the Indian couple and the parents in the hospital look at it as their spark of hope.
There are many things out there that symbolize what hope is. It is kind of odd to put someone’s hopes in something like a vibrator. But the Indian couple had their own reasons and beliefs:
Maybe it was blasphemous, and maybe it was stupid and useless, but we were all sick and tired of waiting for our babies to die. We wanted our babies to live and we were ready to try anything to help them live. Maybe some people can get by with quiet prayers, but I wanted to shout and scream and vibrate (Alexie 1680-1681).
Even though hope is usually represented by white birds, fire flames and religious elements, Chocolate Thunder was something magic and powerful for the parents. In Dawn of Hope, an amazing artwork done by Daniel F. Gerhartz, a fire flame on a girl’s hands is what symbolizes hope. The girl is wearing a long white dress and white flowers around her hair. In this piece of art, the mother is lying down next to the innocent girl, and seems to be desperate and crying. This artwork has an incredible connection with the short story, Do Not Go Gentle. The girl in the picture is showing her mom that there is hope by showing her the flame burning on her hands. On the other hand, the Indian mother is the one who sits next to her baby with Chocolate Thunder vibrating on her hands while she is singing. She manifest her child her spark of hope.
Another piece of literature that has a great connection with the short story is Balto and the Great Race, a book written by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. This book story takes place in Nome, Alaska where dozens of children...

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