You Don't Have to Say You Love Me Setting & Symbolism

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Spokane Indian Reservation

Located in Wellpinit, Washington, the Spokane Indian Reservation is the primary setting of the memoir as well as being the place where the author grew up and spent the majority of his childhood. Due to his family's severe poverty, Alexie was raised in a two-story home that had been constructed using grant money from the U.S. Department of House and Urban Development and remained half-finished, and illogically designed more than 40 years later.

Home to two closed uranium mines and a closed uranium mill, dangerous levels of radon had infiltrated the reservation and was notably present in the radioactive ground water. Over the years, many Spokane Indians had utilized the water and rocks for sweat lodges, ironically meant to purify, but instead contaminated the population.

Violence was a relentless and troubling reality of life on the reservation. Rape was common but rarely discussed and even...

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This section contains 1,622 words
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