The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Questions and Answers
by Sherman Alexie

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven book cover
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What are some solutions for the narrator in Sherman Alexie's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"?  

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In Sherman Alexie's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," the narrator struggles with the pressures put on him because he was supposed to be one of the Indians who made it off the reservation. He says, "I was one of those Indians who was supposed to make it, to rise above the rest of the reservation like a[n] ... eagle or something. I was the new kind of warrior."

However, the only thing the narrator gains in his life living off the reservation is a white girlfriend; and yet he wants to "spend as much time away from her as possible." He's angry, drinks too much and feels an immense sense of not belonging anywhere ("[T]here were plenty of places I wanted to be, but none where I was supposed to be.").

He solves this dilemma by leaving his girlfriend and moving back to the reservation with his mother. He quits drinking and begins to play basketball again, a sport he almost played in college. He also accepts his inferiority at certain things, as evidenced by his willingness to say that the white kid who beat him in basketball "was better that day and every other day." And, in the end, he apologizes to his white girlfriend. While the story ends with the narrator suffering from insomnia, it's clear that he is on his way to recovery.

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