What Orphans Inherit By Sherman Alexie Essay

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When two people hear the same name, different ideas will appear in their mind as a result of the past people they knew with the same name. Although, those with a unique name that has never been heard before, the image is the same due to the person is absolutely unique to their society. To which, in “What Orphans Inherit” by Sherman Alexie, one can understand how the degradation of Native culture has diminished into an abyss of the forgotten. The bleak future for Natives slips away as described by Sherman Alexie for his poem has a unique form that illustrates five different areas where Native culture is uniquely independent. Through Alexie’s perspective, Alexie ascertains language as the true identity for specific tribal members due to society being built around language. Each society has a predominant language that has its grips over them, which is what makes up each person’s name. For “I do not have an Indian name” shows how the clash between European and Native culture has effected the native orphan’s name. Their hearts “hidden/ beneath the shells of walnuts”…show more content…
The orphans drink the poison in order to forget what they truly lost when their culture was ripped away, and when they spend their time on ever decreasing reservations; their time is measured by “leaning/ out car windows” and “shattering/ beer bottles off road signs” as a result of there not being any open lands to practice one’s culture. Alexie signifies how tradition is absent, and the orphans, the current Native generation, are the ones who are missing out on a larger part of themselves. Their heritage has essentially been deprived of culture and is being lost because when tradition does appear, they are “sinewy and doe-eyed/ frozen in headlights” due to it being the first

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