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Many of the inter-related stories in Sherman Alexie's collection involve characters searching for a sense of self-identity both within their indigenous culture and also within the larger Euro-American culture as well. Not only do these characters have the eternal quest for self-understanding the plagues all human beings but they also have competing forces pulling at their lives: the values and mores of their traditional culture and the values and mores of the contemporary world in which they exist.
Victor, Thomas, Junior, and Jimmy and Norma Many Horses are all characters struggle with their personal and tribal identity set against the struggles of the modern world, including racism, alcoholism, poverty, divorce, abuse, etc.
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