Slow Dancing with Skeletons: Sherman Alexie’s “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”.
The writer examines Sherman Alexie's collection of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. He maintains that the Spokane Indian characters that populate Alexie's stories struggle continually against passivity, cynicism, and despair to find healing for the pain that evolves into self-pity and the anger that evolves into self-loathing. Using skeletons as a metaphor for the memories, dreams, and voices that accompany one into the present and the future, he contends, Alexie suggests the dialogic nature of Indian subjectivity and advocates a type of synchronized cooperation between subjects and their skeletons. In these stories, he argues, the characters that stay in step with their skeletons achieve a clarifying introspection that enables them to see themselves in relation to the past, present, and future.