Arizona

Robert Keit
Professor Zino
English 162W
April 9, 2011

The story This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona by Sherman Alexie and the Tuan chapter Attachment to Homeland both have to do with personal space and place that is meaningful to a person as well as the place that one’s home means to them. In the story, the characters Victor and Thomas both travel to Victor’s late father’s home. On the way there, Victor has memories of the Indians to feel the attachment to their home lands and are attached to it both economically and spiritually.
Tuan mentions that “Religion could wither bind a people to place or free them from it”(Tuan 152).This quote can be used to describe the situation that Victor and Thomas are faced with. In the story, Thomas tells Victor a story about two Indian boys who try to become warriors (Alexie 476) The way the story describes and explains their adventure, it is refereeing to their space that binds them to the reservation and how the boys continue to gravitate towards it.
Throughout the rest of the story, Thomas and Victor travel throughout the Indian reservation in hopes of trying to go to Arizona to spread Victors’ ashes. They finally are able to make a deposit and fly there. Even though they feel so attached to the reservation they are able to free themselves for the sake of Victor’s father. This is similar to when Tuan says “The worship of local gods binds a people to a place whereas universal religions give freedom”.(Tuan 152)Thomas and Victor become free to help Victors father.

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One Response to Arizona

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