Textual Analysis of Alexie’s “Because my Father Always Said...” Essay example

Words: 1678
Pages: 7

Textual Analysis Essay
Textual Analysis of Alexie’s
“Because my Father Always Said...”

America truly is the salad bowl of cultures from around the whole world. However, there is often times a dominating cultural structure that makes it difficult to attain peace among the diverse cultural groups of America. Sherman Alexie’s short story, Because my Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock, displays the difficulty of the Native American people having to cope with the dominating culture that they are inevitably being shoved into. The main character Victor, a young boy who reflects much of Alexie’s personal traits, tells the story and struggle of his people through the
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The way Hendrix took the time in between the traditional melody to display the roaring and confusion and violence of “the rocket’s red glare” and “the bombs bursting in air” showed the emotion that Hendrix felt while playing it. He played as if he were fighting in that war. Victor’s father identified with that; he said, “After all the shit I’d been through, I figured Jimi must have known I was there in the crowd to play something like that. It was exactly how I felt.” Music, became the bridge for Victor’s father to be able to relate to the common world and express his emotions. In the same way, alcohol was the only way his father was able to offer a relationship with Victor, or anyone for that matter. Victor recalled how his father “didn’t talk much when he was sober.” And any time his parents were making love it was described as ferocious, passionate, unpredictable, selfish, drunken and loud. They had to intoxicate themselves to the point of passing out in order to conjure up enough affection for each other to have sex. Alcoholism and music became characters of their own, apart from Victor’s parents. They were Victor’s relationship and understanding with his father. Victor had to grow up without the true presence of his father; and he had to deal with it. Just like Jimi Hendrix, his father couldn’t live in peace in a society that didn’t accept him. The way that Alexie writes is compelling to say the least. The perversion of the Native American culture and