Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Indian Killer

If you order your custom term paper from our custom writing service you will receive a perfectly written assignment on Indian Killer. What we need from you is to provide us with your detailed paper instructions for our experienced writers to follow all of your specific writing requirements. Specify your order details, state the exact number of pages required and our custom writing professionals will deliver the best quality Indian Killer paper right on time.

Out staff of freelance writers includes over 120 experts proficient in Indian Killer, therefore you can rest assured that your assignment will be handled by only top rated specialists. Order your Indian Killer paper at affordable prices with !

Indian Killer

Scholars claim that displacement, dispossession, and loss of identity are major themes that run throughout Native American Literature. It would certainly appear to be true in the novel Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie. One could inquire about the causes of this loss of identity and perhaps that is part of the exploration of this novel. But, one could also question the results that displacement or dispossession and the subsequent loss of identity might have on an individual. This also seems to be part of the exploration that Alexie takes the reader through in this particular piece of work. It is as though the questions of the causes and the questions of the result come together to mold the life of an individual or individuals that have experienced this displacement and then sought to recapture an identity. Or can it be considered recapturing at all? It would appear to be a search toward an identity at all, because how can one recapture something that they were never allowed to experience in concrete terms. For example, how would an Native American go about recapturing a heritage that this particular individual never got to experience except for in the terms of discrimination or texts written by white men attempting to explain Native American culture? It appears to be a particularly difficult situation, and in this novel Alexie chooses to represent the anguish of this loss of identity with a serial killer of white men. It is in this character of John, that we find a story of how displacement, dispossession, and loss of identity can drive a person to violence, full of anger at the loss of a heritage.

From the very beginning of the novel we get a sense of the loss of heritage this displacement and dispossession, the loss of a homeland. John has recurring thoughts of his real mother, the land from where he came. Of course, he left this land, the land belonging to the Native Americans, or at least what the U.S. government would allow to be “Indian” lands. Actually, he did not leave it, he was taken away from it. His adoption apparently haunts him to the point of fantasizing about the day that he was adopted. One would assume that many people that are adopted have similar thoughts, questions about who are the real parents, and what they might have looked like. However, his thoughts run to the depth of being torn away from an entirely different kind of life, a different kind of people. In these daydreams he sees himself going straight from the delivery room where his Native American mother begs to hold him, to a helicopter where he is transported to the arms of a white woman where she makes believe that she is breast feeding him as her and her husband pose for a picture of the happy day. He is now displaced and begins the struggle for him to find an identity.

His daydreams run through the question of his mom’s tribal origin. He thinks of her as Navajo or Lakota and then as Apache or Seminole (p.4). He is unsure of even that much of his heritage. The adoption papers are sealed with only one fact available to the adopting parents his mom was only fourteen years old at the time of John’s birth. And, of course, the adoption agent goes so far as to tell the future parents that the best thing for this Native American baby would be to stay with a white family. It is implied that the baby would not have much of a life on the reservation (p.10). It is also interesting that this last part is not part of John’s dream, but the reality of what actually happened.


It is also interesting to note on page 1 in this novel that there is to be a baptism. It appears that Alexie is using this as a metaphor for washing away John’s identity. But also at that same time he meets a man that will have influence over John for the rest of John’s life. The man that he meets is a Jesuit Priest that is also of Native American descent.

One particular event that had a profound effect on John’s life occurred when he was six years old. Father Duncan took John on a trip to the Chapel of the North American Martyrs in downtown Seattle. He showed John the vivid stained glass, which contained reproductions of Jesuits being slaughtered by “Indians.” It was supposed to be an example of Jesuits being martyred by the “Indians.” For Duncan and eventually John, it seemed to symbolize the strength that the Native American once possessed and it also seemed to be a form of revenge before revenge was as necessary as in contemporary times. Alexie sums up Father Duncan’s emotions brilliantly in one line uttered by Duncan himself, “Beautiful, isn’t it?” (p.14).

It could be said that both of them in some way conscious or unconscious had a feeling of displacement. That in some way the world to which they were supposed to belong was gone forever. It was probably a conscious thought for Duncan as he goes on to commit a kind of suicide as he walks off into the desert by himself without any food or water, never to be heard from again. It could be said that he was going to go back to his relationship with his ancestors and the land even if he had to do it in death. This is a curious theme that Alexis uses because it also highlights the end of John’s life. The reader, does however get a viewpoint of John’s death as Alexie let’s us see part of what happens to John after his death. One could reflect upon this and make guesses as to the same kind of spiritual return to heritage happening to Duncan in his death also. Whichever way, it leads one to believe that it is this displacement that cause the characters to perform the kind of actions that they perform.

This displacement which one could also assume lead to a feeling of helplessness for John, eventually made him strike out at society in the form of killing.

Inspired by a moment which is very post-modern and loaded with “magical realism”, John sees a man hammering a nail on the construction site that he will eventually work. But, John sees something that the others don’t see. He sees great sparks flying off the nail as the hammer hits. It seems to represent passion and strength and John wants passion, strength and some sort of control very badly. It is at this point that he decides to begin killing. Alexie describes it thus; “…John knew exactly what to do with his life. John needed to kill a white man.” (p.5).

Certainly one can draw conclusions, after all it’s not such a subtle statement, that the loss of his homelands, his identity and his heritage caused John to take a more violent attitude toward society. He goes on in the next chapter, even, to question which white man was responsible for the things that had gone wrong. He questions whether it would be a very wealthy man or one that was very poor. He takes it to the point of being the most important decision that he will make in his life. It was as though he had just selected on what his entire life will be based and this can be said to be paid off in the end when he scars Wilson for life and possibly blinds him.

This idea for killing becomes John’s fascination. He views it, or at least wants to view it, as something that is a calculated move to right the wrongs that have been committed by the white man against the Native American. On page 14, he fantasizes about what kind of killer he would like to be. He wants to be the owl, swift and quiet, and killing without feeling. But this is something that John discovers is incomplete in his efforts. He feels that more should be done. He takes scalps and leaves feathers for clues. However, he does mirror the owl in one way in one of his first kills when he takes the eyes of the victim and eats them.

In the end, he feels that he has found the one that he was meant to kill. This after killing several previous, making him a serial killer. It is a man named Wilson who claimed to be of Native American descent and wrote novels about Native Americans. He was, in fact, a white man. John, in his climactic triumph (internal triumph) does not kill Wilson, however. He cuts a scar across Wilson’s face so that Wilson will forever be marked. It is a mark that for John stands for all that the white man has taken from the Native Americans (p.411).

Overall, this novel has many themes of loss and displacement--the loss of heritage, the loss of parents and the loss of a way of life. Alexie uses this character of John to show the kind of anger and frustration that it can cause.

Please note that this sample paper on Indian Killer is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Indian Killer, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on Indian Killer will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

Order your authentic assignment from and you will be amazed at how easy it is to complete a quality custom paper within the shortest time possible!


Post a Comment