In the earlier society, not much notice was being out to the American Indians. When they were subdued and put under reservation efforts, not much attention was given to them by the people. They never really needed the attention, since even before; it is known that they could provide for themselves well enough. But with the intervention of the white Americans, not much was left from their rich vast lands, and they were restricted solely in their reserves.
Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues was a take on the present situation of the American natives, the Indians at that time.
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It was an indirect way to showcase the problems and issues that these people were suffering at that time, and whatever ways that they are dealing with them, nonetheless getting supported by the government. But Reservation Blues is not about the guilt of the white people resulting from what they did to the American Indians. It isn’t about the Rock and Roll career of an Indian band and their quest for fame and fortune.
It was more on the search of the facts of life, for all races and skin colors. It is a take on people’s surviving skills, on how these Indians had to deal with hardships, while carrying heavy loads of disgrace and downgrading from other people in their backs.
The song Father and Farther is a song that opens yet another chapter of the book Reservation Blues. It is more of a reflection of the life of these Native Americans. Here, the perspective is from a son who asks his father what their future holds for them. It is a reflection of their struggles, of how much more they’ll have to endure in order to gain the life that they deserve, to be alleviated from the poor life.
The speaker of this songs asks the father how far they should go to have a good life, that if they go farther will they really attain what they want. There are several comparisons made in this song, making an appeal to the emotions of those who will be reading the book. They first one is a comparison with a three-legged horse, who, according to the person talking was putting out all his efforts yet never makes it to the finish line. This is a reflection of their situation, that no matter how hard they try, their efforts always end up going t waste.
Another chapter is opened by the song whose name is the same as the title of the book, Reservation Blues. It is more of description of the lives being lived by these people, and the things that they do to get by with this kind of life. It describes their poor life, how they have empty pockets being filled by their only resolve, the reservation blues. This is because they really have not much of a choice. They live their lives as is because they are left with poverty alone.
There is not much of an opportunity for them, which usually leaves them penniless and hungry. It is through this music, the reservation blues, which they get by from day to day. It is what removes their loneliness that they feel from the poor life that they are living. It shows yet another reality of life as reflected on the last line, saying that if they have no other choice, then they don’t have much to lose. This is a manifestation of the feeling of worthlessness, as others see them. They were always looked down by other people, saying that they are good for nothing, and they have no real worth, that is why not much of an attention is being given to them.
Reservation Blues songs were the songs that illustrate the mood of the story, wherein it goes with the whole story’s intensity to match. It was merely an eye opener of what is about to unfold to the readers: the untold story of the feather-clad, pipe-smoking redskins, who fought for their lands and wished for a fair treatment, but had neither of them, everything stripped, except their pride and their capability to dream. This capability to dream could be an instrument to personal as well as societal success, as manifested by the Indian band’s road to success: how they were able to move along the topsy turvy road called life.
Alexie, Sherman. Reservation Blues. Warner Books, 1996.