workshop 1 ENGL
One scene in Smoke Signals that stuck out to me was when Victor's father dies, and Thomas makes light of how he found out this information. At first, Thomas. It was then that a sudden fire killed Thomas' parents, with Victor's father, Arnold and Thomas being a somewhat goofy oddball, their several day long trip tests this is as much a tale about father/son relationships as it is about growing up as. Victor and Thomas developed a strong relationship after they took a road trip together to Arizona to pick up the ashes of Victor's father.
This could have put their friendship to a holt but this shows that Thomas feels comfortable enough to bring up such a touchy topic with Victor. Their friendship is getting closer but Victor is still pushing Thomas away. The film is coming to a close when Thomas and Victor reach his dads place.
She told about how his dad never meant to stay away, that he was coming back. This may not connect Thomas and Victor together directly but after Susie told Victor this, he started to open up more to people, including Thomas. Victor feels so close to Thomas that he gave half his dad to him; it is almost as if Victor is saying they are brothers.
From their childhood fights and misunderstandings to a road that took back everything and made them brothers. Alexie, they share a common theme. The symbols in the story and movie describe the development of friendships and relationships between the two main characters and the underlying themes of new beginnings, rebirth and deeper understandings.
Phoenix has two meanings in the book. One is the more obvious and literal meaning of Phoenix which is the place: The second meaning is a reference to the mythical bird known as the Phoenix. A Phoenix is said to burn up every years.
From the ashes of the bird is born a new Phoenix. The title of the movie Smoke Signals also relates to the overall theme of the film.
Smoke signals are meant as an SOS of the woods.
- Welcome to the Reservation Blues Study Guide
- Reservation Blues Band
- Blog Archive
When someone is in need of help, they send up smoke signals in order to send a message telling that they need assistance of some sort. Smoke signals can often be difficult to interpret. These signals apply to the theme of the movie because they describe the figurative SOS that Victor unconsciously sent up and that Thomas was lucky enough to spot.
Based on the title of the movie, the theme of the movie becomes understanding and new beginnings. The figurative smoke signals lead to the journey that the two boys went on to Phoenix, Arizona. The result of this journey was a deeper understanding of each other and of possible new beginnings.
Not only do the titles in the movie and story portray the theme, but the prominent shared symbol, fire, is also a key factor in the theme.
Fire as a symbol can often have many meanings. When used in the same context as a mythical bird, the Phoenix, fire signifies upward mobility, forward motion, and rising aspirations, like the rising flames and smoke from a fire. This is interpreted in both the story and movie. The symbol of fire and fireworks on Independence Day was prominent in both movie and story.
In the story, fireworks appeared when the boys were talking about their plans to go watch the fireworks. The fireworks symbolize rebirth and moving on. This subtle hint of rebirth and new beginnings once again reinforces the theme of the story. Fireworks on Independence Day were also, and more so, prominent in the movie.
The movie began with a house fire on the 4th of July. This incident not only symbolizes the rebirth that Independence Day symbolizes, but also the reason for the need to start anew: Ash was yet another prominent symbol in the story and film. Cremation can be tied back to the original title of the story, Phoenix the mythical bird.
A Phoenix cremates itself in order to begin again with a fresh start and a new beginning from the ashes. In the movie the cremation and ash were much larger parts of the plot.
In the movie the cremation is mentioned multiple times along with the multiple references to ash. Like a Phoenix, Thomas and Victor have the opportunity to be reborn. The film and story have many differences and similarities. The most significant similarity is the theme. Due to the shared symbols in the story and film, the theme of both becomes one of rebirth, forgiveness and new beginnings.
It has encouraged people in hard times, and warned people of consequences for actions, while also enthralling others with the wit and beauty behind each story. Although both Medias have similar themes, their interpretation of the stories and their meanings are portrayed differently.
As the characters move through an emotional journey together, the elements of storytelling evolve; these changes enable the characters to move from their past pains and memories to accept and progress forward with what the future may hold. Storytelling allows the mind to drift into a place of enchantment, a world in between reality and the vision of a blameless humanity. It allows the teller and receiver to be connected by a common ground. In both portrayals of the plot, the main character Victor and the secondary main character Thomas are being united by the act of storytelling.
This causes a lot of friction between the characters because Victor is fighting against his childhood urge to ignore Thomas, while his mind and emotions are willing him to listen. Understanding the relationship of the stories that Thomas relays gives Victor the chance to acknowledge Thomas and the advice he has to offer. In the short story, Victor feels like he owes it to Thomas to listen and respect his opinions because the theme is based on his forgiveness and revival of friendship with Thomas.
workshop 1 ENGL126
This built up a wall of resentment in Victor that he struggles to release in the book. As he makes amends he feels like he owes Thomas but also knows he can never truly repay him for his kindness. However, some of his ideas break though to Victor as they continue their journey.
Thomas understands Victor is on a road of forgiveness and offers words of advice through one of his stories. He explained his theory: How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? The blog is linked to a photo storage site where the class assignments were posted. I immediately liked having a blog and started posting. I have taken film classes and posted some papers I wrote about films.
In the web site Digital Media Journey was built. I have lately been taking art history classes. The image of the windmill below will link to my web site.
Saturday, March 30, Stereotypical Behaviors and Images in Smoke Signals Smoke Signals, released inwas the first widely distributed film by a major studio that was made by and starred Native Americans. The characters are not the stereotypes of Indians that Hollywood portrayed during the previous century. They are complex individuals living in a modern world struggling to deal with their past and present problems.Smoke Signals - Victor Beats Up Thomas Scene
Stereotypical images of Indians are directly confronted and recontextualized, usually with humor. Lines from Western films are repeated and words changed for a comedic effect. The more the viewer is familiar with Native American culture, reservations, and the images of Indians in Westerns, the more he or she can appreciate what screenwriter Sherman Alexei has achieved in Smoke Signals. However, it is the stereotypical patterns of verbal and physical abuse by Victor Joseph, the lead character played by Adam Beach, which may not be as obvious.
Alexie as an infant underwent an operation for hydrocephaly. He was in poor health, had seizures, and was teased for his round shaped head. His father was an alcoholic who left home periodically. Alexie also is an alcoholic who is currently sober. Adam Beach was eight years old when his pregnant mother was killed by a drunk driver. As a teenager, he lived with his aunt and uncle in Winnipeg, and was a gang member.
During the initial 16 minutes of the film, before the trip starts, sufficient but purposely incomplete information is given by flashbacks. The other player denied it but then backed down despite being taller and more muscular than Victor. The film returns to the present day basketball practice with Victor leading a chant with the basketball as a percussive instrument.
Another flashback shows a young Victor with his father who is drinking. He hits the child when Victor accidentally spills a bottle of beer.
The film shifts to present time. Thomas offers to help with the money he has in a glass canning jar but with the stipulation that Victor must take him on the trip. Victor is verbally abusive when he refuses the offer and tells him to buy a car or get a woman. And third, were going right there and coming right back.
More simplistically the analogy could be the frog in the well jumping up two steps and falling back one step. The frog gets out, but it is a long arduous struggle.
Or simply it could be a stereotypical image that vehicles on the reservation are in a perpetual state of disrepair and this is a filmic interpretation of the sarcastic statement that affluence on the reservation is two cars on blocks in front of a HUD trailer. Thelma brings up another stereotype when she asks Thomas to trade something for the ride. Victor reins in his abusive behavior to a slight rolling back of his head in disapproval.
She knows that Indians have been telling stories for thousands of years but she sarcastically uses the modern academic label. Thelma and Lucy are an Indian version of the female road buddies Thelma and Louise Victor and Thomas are the only passengers who board the bus.
When they walk down the aisle the camera records the expressions of the other passengers staring at the two Indians. These shots would seem more appropriate for a racing car movie or a chase scene, rather than for a bus on a two lane black top. Unlike the stage that took the white man through dangerous and unsettled territory, this stage will take Victor and Thomas off the reservation and into the foreign country that Thelma and Lucy told them they needed vaccinations for.
The close ups are reminiscent of stagecoaches in films, with the skilled driver adjusting the reins, the horses responding, and the wagon wheels turning. Like the classic film Stagecoachthere will be conflict between people who usually try to avoid each other but are now brought together by the confines of the stagecoach.
The woman in the seat across the aisle is stretching with her leg above her head. Thomas says that he has to ask her something and Victor tells him not to. Thomas starts to talk to her and Victor shows his disapproval with a sigh and then puts his head back and closes his eyes. She rambles on about how she was an alternate for the Olympics, but Jimmy Carter took away her opportunity.
Victor has sized her up as weak and that she will be an easy target. He pretends to wake up and then asks her a series of questions about being an alternate. Her affirmative responses verify her weakness and Victor tells her that she has nothing to complain about and to be quiet.
Almost on the verge of tears, she moves to a different seat. An abuser, with a short fuse before becoming violent, can interpret her behavior as disrespectful and the level of anger escalates.
Digital Media Journey: Stereotypical Behaviors and Images in Smoke Signals
Her moving away can be especially dangerous with an abuser who has been abandoned by a loved one. The abuser stalks her to the new location on the bus; it gets ugly, and out comes a weapon. Why do you think this is important to the Native American community? Discuss this "disappearing" and how it relates to the invisibility of Indian people in contemporary society. How does their relationship illustrate the tension between Native American traditional cultural values and contemporary realities?
For example, Victor and Thomas refer to the U.
Discuss the interactions Victor and Thomas have with members of the dominant society the White couple in the car accident, and the police officer. What stereotypes are operating? What do you make of the soliloquy at the end of the movie? What are the sins of our fathers that must be forgiven? Where did you see the U. What did they mean by practice vanishing? How do Victor and Thomas treat their parents?