The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

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Questions and Answers: A Drug Called Tradition

1. How does the style of the story, especially the repeated shifts in time and place, impact its themes?

2. Which attitudes toward the ritual of earning one’s adult name are apparent in the story?

3. How do the three visions address the past and present situation of the American Indian tribes?

4. What does the plotline foretell for the futures of the three main characters?

5. What does the “tiny drum” symbolize at the end of the story?

1. The shifts between past and present highlight generational differences in the coming-of-age rituals of young American Indian men. This disparity between the experiences of the young and the old speaks to a broader loss of identity, or a sense of tradition, among young American Indian men.

2. It seems that the ritual is important, but not crucial, to establishing a sense of identity and culture. Alexie is...

(The entire section is 292 words.)