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What is the meaning of the title? Why does the writer name the story that way?

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qtgurl | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted October 20, 2007 at 5:13 PM via web

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What is the meaning of the title? Why does the writer name the story that way?

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merehughes | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted October 20, 2007 at 6:46 PM (Answer #1)

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The title refers to a cultural reference.  In the 1950's and 1960's the Lone Ranger Show was very popular on television.  Many children grew up watching the Lone Ranger and his silent but faithful Indian friend Tonto.  The character of the silent and faithful Indian is ironic especially if you are Indian.  So Sherman Alexie names the books this to comment on the role of the Indian in white American society.  While on TV and in real society, the Indian is not allowed to fight with the Lone Ranger or disagree with him, Alexie allows this to happen in the title of the book.  In heaven, the Lone Ranger and Tonto fist fight.  Only in the realm of  other worldliness can this occur. It also represents the will to fight but yet the Indian's sometimes own inability to do this.  Many of his stories center on failed people, people who are suffering from alcoholism or are in other ways incapacitated due to their own actions.  Therefore the title mirrors the longing to fight but the inability to do so in this world.  

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