The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven cover image

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

by Sherman Alexie
Start Free Trial

In Sherman Alexie's story "All I Wanted To Do Was Dance," Alexie uses repetition to emphasize his ideas of "tomorrow" when he writes, "Tomorrow he would run. He could be somebody's hero. Tomorrow." Why does Victor swear to do these things tomorrow instead of acting now?

In Sherman Alexie's story "All I Wanted To Do Was Dance," the author repeats the word tomorrow to show that Victor has become addicted to procrastination. A combination of alcoholism and nostalgia for his broken relationship prevents him from acting in the present.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Sherman Alexie's short story "All I Wanted To Do Was Dance," Victor is still devastated by the end of his relationship with the woman he loved and is sinking ever deeper into apathy and alcoholism. At the beginning of the story, he is dancing, drunk, with a woman who does not interest him except as a temporary distraction from his feelings. Throughout the story, the tedious life he is actually living is less real to him than his memories of his ex-girlfriend. He makes half-hearted attempts to become sober but tells himself defeatedly that there is "nothing more hopeless than a sober Indian."

Alexie's repetition of the word tomorrow shows how procrastination has become a central part of Victor's personality. Without the love of his life, he has no motivation to accomplish anything, even something as mundane as going for a run or cleaning his living space. Instead, he finds substitutes for living in television, memories, and alcohol. The idea of "tomorrow" in the story is a paradox, since it represents both hope and hopelessness. There is time tomorrow for Victor to accomplish all the things he failed to do today; at the same time, by putting off every type of action until tomorrow, he demonstrates that he does not really want to do any of these things.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial