single car driving across the desert

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

by Sherman Alexie
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Examine Victor’s relationship to his father in the story “This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona” and the boy’s relationship to his Papa in the poem “My Papa’s Waltz.” 

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It is clear that both of the children in these texts, Victor and the boy in "My Papa's Waltz," have a rather complicated relationship with their father. This is shown by Victor's awkward feelings about his father and also how his father left him when he was a young boy. It is only when Victor travels to reclaim his father's body and belongings that he is able to reclaim what was both good and bad about his father, remembering both the happy memories and the sad ones, and achieving some kind of balance between them. Note how this is described when Victor and Thomas reach the caravan that belonged to his father:

Victor was quiet for a long time. He searched his mind for memories of his father, found the good ones, found a few bad ones, added it all up, and...

(The entire section contains 425 words.)

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