Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie follows the story of the rise and fall of a rock and blues band of Spokane Indians hailing from the Spokane Reservations in Washington (Sherman, 3). It is a complex story that explains the complexity of the lives of ordinary Indians. Sherman has used dialogues, which has made this piece of work rather causal. Alexie has touched on every aspect of dilemma, burden, as well as, pain that a contemporary reservation Indian may be experiencing. Thus, the undermining of any kind of movement toward an uplifted life is historical and current, from within the Indians opinions, minds and the society. Indians operate in different ways that can lead to their success or failure.
Themes in this fiction are femininity and masculinity, and they are reflected by the characters and their experiences, as noted by Sherman Alexie. The text, Reservation Blues, reflects a recurrent concern in native American-authored fiction, the preclusion of physically viable male characters, and the relationship between unviable masculinities and paternal characters. The concern is a repeat of the history of Native American literature and implies a culturally symptomatic phenomenon. The analysis of the text is concerned with the relationship between paternal characters and events in the construction of incomplete male protagonists. This is necessary because it reflects a gender circumstance that is culturally crucial. The author states that there are fake Indians who are as common as quartz crystal that exists in the New Age subcultures (Sherman 5). These people devour anything that is concerned with the spirituality of the Native Americans.
According to Sherman (7), Reservation Blues is a fiction that commences with the emergence of a person who is referred to as Robert Johnson, the blues great. The man arrives in Spokane Reservation to hunt for a woman he desires most. Later the man faked his own death, in order to avoid the wrath of the Devil with whom they had a contract. However, the man had a dream of an aged lady on top of a mountain that holds the hope of atonement. Later, Thomas Builds-the –Fire took Robert Johnson to an enigmatic female witch doctor, Big Mom, at the mountain cabin. Thomas later discovered that Johnson had left him a guitar, inspiring him to hook up with other outcasts, such as Junior Polatkin and Victor Joseph. These men later joined to form the band, however, they had no talent for music. In the fiction, Alexie uses the fiction to illustrate the lives of the modern Indians with a lot of precision. At this point, the author introduces alcoholic parents, tribal politicians with arrogant bullies used to enforce their acts (Sherman 12).