This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona cover image

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

by Sherman Alexie
Start Free Trial

Questions and Answers for This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is the theme of the story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie?

Victor Joseph is the main character in "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Native American author Sherman Alexie. The story revolves around a pivotal rite of passage, the death of a...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How does Victor change in "This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona"?

In the short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," a Native American named Victor on a reservation in eastern Washington learns that his father has died in a trailer in Phoenix,...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2020 12:11 am UTC

3 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Discuss the settings of the story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona."

In the humorous but poignant short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie, a Native American named Victor hears that his father has died in Phoenix, Arizona. Victor...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2020 3:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How is the the title "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" significant to the story?

The title is significant because, like the mythological creature the city is named for, Victor experiences rebirth through his journey to deal with his father's ashes. A phoenix bursts into flame...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2019 4:36 pm UTC

3 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is the setting in "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" in terms of times, places, times of year, and...

The story of "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" is set on the reservation in Washington state near Spokane, Washington. Flashbacks are also on the reservation. One of Thomas...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2010 1:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What are some literary elements present in "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"?

Sherman Alexie employs numerous literary elements in the story. These include dialogue; several types of comparisons, such as metonym, simile, and metaphor; and hyperbole. In presenting Victor’s...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2019 10:35 pm UTC

3 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What would be the theme for "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"?

In addition to isolation from each other, another theme of this story is the marginalization of Native Americans by white American society and the United States government. When Thomas and Victor...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2019 3:05 pm UTC

3 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," why is it that Victor and Thomas cannot be friends when they...

The friendship between Victor and Thomas had suffered a heavy blow years before when Thomas had prophecied that Victor’s father would leave forever. Not only did Victor violently attack Thomas at...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2020 8:37 pm UTC

3 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What are the conflicts in the story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"?

One of the most readily apparent conflicts in Sherman Alexie's "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" is the internal conflict happening inside Victor. Though Victor has not at all had a...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2019 12:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is the conflict of the story "This What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"?

Victor seems to have a conflict of identity since he is uncertain of where he belongs. The friend that Victor had as a youth, significantly, had a real Indian name—Thomas Builds-the-Fire—that...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2017 1:09 am UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Why did Thomas have to tell stories and have people listen in This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona?

Thomas Builds-the-Fire is Victor's guide and catalyst in this story. Victor has lost touch with his father and his Native American roots and heritage. Thomas is the one who helps him reconnect and,...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2018 2:18 pm UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How is the theme revealed through the words, images, and symbols that the author uses?

"This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," is a story about a journey, about personal transformation, and about rebirth. The question of how both Victor and Thomas relate to the death of...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2019 5:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, why can Victor be described as a realist, while Thomas can be...

Without question, there are character differences between Victor and Thomas-Builds-the-Fire. Thomas maintains more of his Indian identity than Victor does. Thomas-Builds-the-Fire lives on the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 11:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In Sherman Alexie's "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," what is the significance of Thomas's story of...

Sherman Alexie's story "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" centers around the idea of escaping the reservation. Victor, the primary character in the story, is forced to confront this...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This is What it Means to say Phoenix, Arizona," how does Sherman Alexie break the rules of the traditional plot...

(Because this is a question about plot, I'm going to do a lot of summary and no quotes.) Sherman Alexie's "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" is told in real narrative time and...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2016 7:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How was the story of "This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona" altered for the movie, Smoke Signals (1998)?

The story of the film is significantly different than the short story. One of the major differences is that Thomas's parents were killed in a house fire, whereas in the story Thomas tells us...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2019 3:34 pm UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What does the proverb "Desperate times call for desperate measures" mean in in relation to "This Is What It Means to...

Victor desperately needs some money so that he can travel to Phoenix, Arizona, to collect his father’s remains. He does not have any money to travel to Phoenix because he has just lost his job at...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2018 2:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What are some quotes from This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona by Sherman Alexie? This is a study guide...

Here are some quotes from "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie. Victor hadn't seen his father in a few years, only talked to him on the telephone once or twice, but...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2019 11:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What would be a good thesis statement and two part title for my essay on the significance of the different settings...

The first significant thing is that they reclaim Victor’s father’s ashes from Phoenix, Arizona. In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix rises from the ashes. Victor and Thomas do not completely reclaim...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2011 1:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How and why did the stories told by Thomas impact his friendship with Victor in "This Is What It Means to Say...

“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie follows the story of two young Indian men who live on a reservation in Washington state. The main character, Victor, has just lost...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2013 5:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How do Thomas and Victor differ on their views of American Indian traditions?

When Victor's father passes away, Victor finds himself in a quandary. He has just lost his job at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and doesn't have enough money to make the trip to Phoenix, Arizona....

Latest answer posted August 26, 2015 7:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," Victor accuses Thomas of thinking too much. What does Thomas...

When they were boys, Thomas and Victor went to see the fireworks for the Fourth of July. Thomas remarks that it is odd for them, being Indians (Native Americans), to celebrate America's...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2013 6:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Explain Thomas Builds-the Fire's gift in "That Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie.

In material terms, Thomas Builds-the-Fire's gift of money is indispensable. Although Thomas doesn't have enough cash on hand to finance the journey back from Phoenix, his generous offer allows...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 2:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How does Thomas help Victor better understand his father as a person? 

Victor wants to avoid Thomas because he tells the same stories over and over again. Thomas has a more spiritual Native American sensibility about him whereas Victor struggles between this heritage...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2015 11:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is the purpose of Thomas's conversation with Cathy during the plane ride in This Is What It Means to Say...

Let me count the purposes for you! 1. During this scenario, the biggest purpose is to show that feeling screwed by the government crosses all cross-sections of people. This Olympic gymnast was not...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2010 4:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This is What it Means to say Phoenix Arizona", how Victor and Thomas serve as foils while adapting to living in...

Victor is the "cool" Indian. He understands how to be stoic and has a great capacity to feel sorry for himself because he is Indian and the white people have stolen the Indians' land. Thomas loves...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2010 8:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What does the setting of "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" suggest about the impact of the trip on Victor?

The short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie tells of a young Native American man named Victor who lives on a reservation near Spokane, Washington. He hears...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2020 7:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How does the eventual absence of Victor's father cause him to finish growing up too quickly?

The story of "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" says that when Victor and Thomas Builds-the-Fire were seven-years-old, Thomas told the story about Victor's father watching TV all night...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2010 7:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" what was the "fair trade" that Thomas wanted his whole life?  ...

The ending of this powerful story about cultural identity and loss is where the phrase "fair trade" is mentioned, and it is clear that this fair trade is what applies to the exchange that has taken...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2013 6:25 am UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Examine Victor’s relationship to his father in the story “This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona” and the...

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...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2013 5:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What are the main ideas of the story “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie? 

The main idea of the story is that two young Native American men are going to claim the legacy of the father of one of them, who died. The story is about a young man named Victor whose father has...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How is the story’s theme revealed through the actions of the characters and the changes the characters undergo?

One important theme of this story by Sherman Alexie is the role of friendship in helping people through difficult times. Victor and Thomas had been friends as children, but after they fought, they...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2019 12:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Alexie, why has Thomas evoked such dislike and hostility in...

It seems that Alexie is suggesting that Victor and others on the reservation do not see the usefulness of Thomas Builds-the-Fire and his stories. He is a repetitious relic of the past in a modern...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2018 9:26 pm UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

1.In "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," there is mention of a fight between Victor and Thomas when they...

Thomas is somewhat of a social pariah because he freely retains much of the tribal practices, one of which is his storytelling. Thomas Builds-the-Fire walked through the corridors of the tribal...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2014 7:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," how do the different settings affect Tom's and Victor's...

In "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," Victor and Thomas Builds-the Fire had stopped being friends a long time ago. The setting changes introduce new situations for Thomas and Victor...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2010 10:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Explain the importance of the past as a theme in the story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"

Sherman Alexie's short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" concerns two characters reflecting upon and reevaluating their past histories and experiences. When Victor's father...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2010 1:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What sort of person is Victor in "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"? What are his circumstances of life?...

At the beginning of Sherman Alexie's story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," we meet Victor, a Native American man who is down on his luck. He has just lost his job. He has no money,...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2020 5:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Why doesn't anyone feel comfortable around Thomas Builds-the-Fire?

For one thing, people don't like being around Thomas Builds-the-Fire because of his eccentric behavior. This is someone who, among other things, says that he can fly and claims to have prophetic...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2019 11:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In This Is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, how does Victor see the reservation Indians? How does he feel...

The two main characters, Victor and Thomas Builds-the-Fire, in "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie, illustrate the plight of the present day Indian. Victor views the...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2018 3:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is Victor's trait in This is What it Means to Say Phoenix Arizona? in the Story This is what it means to say...

Victor and his father had a conflicted relationship. But Victor also has a problem relating to Thomas. In the trip to Arizona Thomas tells Victor a lot he didn't know about his father.This new...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2009 11:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is the story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" saying about friendship?

The importance of friendship is a core component of this short story. Victor finds a way to come to terms with the broken relationship he had with his recently deceased father. Reuniting with his...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2019 3:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Please analyze This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona by Sherman Alexie. This is a study guide question posted...

In his short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," Sherman Alexie uses irony to explore the conditions and culture of modern American Indian life. His work is an exploration of the...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2019 3:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

The narrator interrupts the flashback describing the Fourth of July celebration to remark, "Years later, they would...

The story does throw light on what this comment means. When the narrator is describing the Fourth of July event that Victor and Thomas Builds-the-Fire went to as children, the narrator writes that...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2019 11:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What are good essay topics for "What it means to say Phoenix, Arizona"?

Sherman Alexie's short story "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" is part of a collection of connected short stories about members of the Coeur d'Laine Indians. It specifically deals...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2011 7:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Please explain the effectiveness of the narrative point of view in Alexie`s story "This Is What it Means To Say...

First, let me say that I'm not sure what you mean when you use the term "effectiveness." By "narrative point of view" I'm making the assumption that you mean Alexie's use of a third person narrator...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2011 2:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Why is it symbolically important that Victor and Thomas are no longer friends?

Hello! You asked why it is symbolically important that Victor and Thomas are no longer friends: 1) Through Victor and Thomas' splintered past and present bonhomie (good-natured friendliness),...

Latest answer posted July 6, 2015 4:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

How do the different settings of "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie influence Victor...

After Victor and Thomas exit the plane, Thomas notes that the white gymnast they met (Cathy) was nice. Victor says: "Yeah, but everybody talks to everybody on airplanes," Victor said. "It's too...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2016 3:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is the POV in “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”?

Sherman Alexie’s short story “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” is told primarily through the third-person multiple perspective of Victor and Thomas. Remember, point of view is the...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2020 8:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

What is one of Victor's character traits in "This is What It Means to Say Pheonix, Arizona"?

Thomas thinks that one of Victor's characteristics is that he thinks too much. Indeed, Thomas says to Victor, "You always used to tell me I think too much...Now it sounds like you do." Victor is...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2019 5:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

In "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," what does the narrator mean when he says "Years later, they would...

This is rather an intriguing comment, isn't it? One way we can start to try and work out its significance is by looking at it in context and seeing whether this sheds any light as to its importance...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2012 1:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Showing 1-50 of 78