Sherman Alexie And The Inherent Humor Of Genocide Essay

1500 WordsOct 15, 20116 Pages
Josh Nguyen ENGL 1102 September 16th, 2011 Spenser Simrill Sherman Alexie and the Inherent Humor of Genocide “The two funniest tribes I’ve ever been around are Indians and Jews”-Jackson Jackson A police officer wakes Jackson (who was sleeping on railroad tracks) up from his drunken coma. The officer tells Jackson that he is taking him to a detoxification clinic, in which Jackson replies, “No man, that place is awful. It’s full of drunk Indians.” They both share a laugh at this comment. Officer Williams then states, “I don’t know how you guys do it.” “You guys?” asks Jackson. The officer says, “You Indians. How the hell do you laugh so much? I just picked your ass off the railroad tracks, and you’re making jokes.” In response to this comment, Jackson says “the two funniest tribes I’ve ever been around are Indians and Jews, so I guess that says something about the inherent humor of genocide.” 1 Can one crack a joke on the homeless? Is satire and humor permissible to use to alleviate the hopeless situations of individuals, such as the homeless? One might not think so. Interestingly enough, satire and humor can actually convert the devilish face of hopeless situations (such as being homeless) into more of an amiable one. For example, Alexie, in the short story “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” marvelously integrates the aspects of satire and humor into the compelling adventure of a homeless American Indian. 1 http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/04/21/030421fi_fiction “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie is a sentimental, first person point of view story of hopelessness written in a comedic tone. This story creates a captivating character out of an old, alcoholic Indian and is used by Alexie to illustrate many overlooked issues in Native American culture, such as homelessness and redemption. Humor, however, is certainly the most amazing theme shown by

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