Journal 10-1

In ‘Smoke Signals’, it covered the topics of being an Indian, the importance of friendship, drunken indians and the importance of family. The most important meaning is the importance of friendship. The film showed how you should not take some people for granted because those could be the people that help you out the most. Victor was taking Thomas for granted and not treating him right throughout the movie. The movie showed how good of a friend Thomas was no matter how Victor had treated him because in the end Thomas was the only one Victor could turn to for help getting to his father to collect his belongings.

Family was the most important message of this movie though. Victor and his family tried to stay as close as possible but his father’s drinking just kept pulling them apart. Victor tried to stay as close to his family as he could especially his father. But his father ended up abandoning him which took a big part of his life away. It made him so mad that he ended up taking it out on Thomas. This can relate to every other culture also though especially how the father left.

Another message was the drunken Indians and how it was apart of their everyday lifestyle. The message that drinking showed was that the Indians were living their lives in reverse which was the reason the car in the movie was always driving backwards instead of going forward. This is one of the most important aspects because drinking was something that the indians lives’ revolved around.



      Throughout each story, one theme that was used is tradition. Native Americans had their own way of life that they lived by. Just about every one of them did the same thing. Mostly every one of these Indians either was a story teller or a drunk. The people who did not do neither were not treated any different, that just showed that they were not the average Indian.              Drinking was apart of their everyday life and it was a way that they got by. In every story of the book, drinking played a big role. This also showed the Indian life as a negative aspect though. The author was criticized for trying to make it seem like drinkong was the only thing people of the tribe knew what to do. It was just considered as fun and entertainment to them.
       Story telling was also a big part of Indian life. People like Thomas and Victor were known for their stories. Thomas was the biggest story teller but was not really listened to by people. Story telling made their life more better and exciting. It gave them reasons to sit around with one another and it also like somewhat a bonding experience for these people.

Journal 8 – 4

Thomas builds-the-fires told stories because he was a storyteller and most of them came in dreams which lead him to a vision. The other people on the reservation feel that what Thomas is saying is irrelevant to the tribe. I think that some people feel that his stories are not even true most times so they do not pay it any attention. The tribe did not talk to him because they felt he told the same stories over and over again to them. His goal was to tell them to the people that would stop and listen to him until they got tired of hearing it. All because of his stories, the people of the tribe tried to stay as far as possible away from him simply because he would tell story after story, all of the same stories.

Some people probably avoid his stories because they feel they will eventually come true and cause some trouble with people on the reservation. The stories are most times of the history of the tribe which makes some of the people mad because he tries to make it seem as he had lived during the time of when all of these events had taken place. Even though storytelling is a big part of the Native American culture, it makes the people of his tribe mad because of how he tells his stories. But in the book, his storytelling is what gets him into trouble with the judge and the police and ends him up in jail.