Sherman Alexie

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What is the purpose of Sherman Alexie's short story "Indian Education"?

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In “Indian Education,” Alexie presents the hypocrisy of education on reservations in the United States. The story is told through the eyes of Victor, a Native youth who attends school on the reservation but switches to a white school before high school. By contrasting Victor’s experiences at his new school with those at home, Alexie shows the stark reality of life on the reservation.

Therefore, the purpose of the text is to expose the reader to the enormous challenge that Native children face getting an education on reservations. Not only is their education hampered by people who dislike them, but the white, Christian teachers often want to destroy their Native heritage. Despite not being a native boarding school, the schools on the reservation that Alexie describes still seem to abide by the old Indian boarding school saying, “Kill the Indian, Save the child.”

One of Victor’s teachers tells him that “her God would never forgive [him] for that,” and later we're told,...

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