Reservation Blues Themes

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Repeatedly throughout the novel many of the principle characters demonstrate a pessimism or fatalism brought about by generations of suffering and disenfranchisement. One such character, Victor, even refers to himself as a fatalist. Other characters, though more subtle, are no less fatalistic in their worldview. Perhaps one character, Chess, says it best when she says that a person is not truly Indian unless at some point in that person's life the person has wished not to be Indian.

This sense of defeatism is not confined to the present generation. Regarding the recent past, characters like Thomas recall stories about how his father suffered because of his talent at basketball. While some reservation residents readily got behind one who had the potential for success, other reservation residents resented a Native American who demonstrated great promise. It is as if they accept the role of failure and...

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This section contains 803 words
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