In the film Smoke Signals, as the film precedes the friendship between Victor and Thomas did Change. It was kind of the same as their relationship in the book. They had a bad relationship as kids but eventually they begin to know each other and understand why they are the way they are.
In the film there was a flashback from when they were kids. Victor and Thomas say’s rude things in the story and Thomas asks do Victor Know why his father left him and Victor beats up Thomas because his is upset and hurt about his father leaving. Then when they were teens it’s a scene when Victor is playing basketball with some guys and Thomas asks Victor what about his dad being one of the greatest basketball players. Victor ignores him. This shows that from kids to teens they still have a rough friendship. And it seems as though Thomas wanted to be Victor friend but Victor didn’t want anything to do with him. Then they relationship started to change once they took the trip to Arizona because Victor father had died. Thomas was the one to offer him the money. Although Victor treated him very badly throughout the film he still chose to help Victor when he was in need. Victor accepted the money because deep down he really did like Thomas also he needed the help.
During the trip Victor still treated Thomas badly. But when they were on the bus Victor tried to change Thomas to become angry and hard like him so people (whites) wouldn’t take advantage of him. At that moment it showed me that Victor did care for Thomas as friends and he didn’t like when people made fun of him and took advantage because he was nice. After the ride they had to walk to Victor’s dad trailer and Thomas kept offering Victor water and he took the water jug and threw it. They had a good and bad moments together.
Towards the end they were driving back and Thomas told stories and I think that’s when Victor started to understand Thomas and why he told the storied he did. When they got back to the rez. Victor gives Thomas half of his father ashes because he understood that he meant something to him as well. Thomas was kind of like an annoying brother and Victor had his moments of being nice but he also treated him bad when he got annoying but in the end he actually do care.
Thomas-builds-the-fire is Alexies’ alter ego he has visions and tells stories. He gets it from his father who gets it from his father; it basically runs in the family. On the Spokane tribe no one likes to listen to Thomas-builds-the-fire stories. The people who once socialized with Thomas-builds-the-fire avoid him and his stories because they heard the same stories over and over also they felt like the storied had no truth to them. Maybe he was making them up and maybe they were just tired of always hearing stories, maybe they wanted to have a real conversation with him for once.
A lot of people don’t listen to Thomas-builds-the-fire stories because they felt like he was crazy. Also they didn’t listen because they thought if they did people would look at them different and start to treat them like they treat Thomas-builds-the-fire. This is true because in the story “This is what it means to say Phoenix, Arizona Thomas-builds-the-fire says to Victor “I know you ain’t gone treat me any better than you did before. I know your friends would give you too much shit about it.” People on the reservation value other opinions so they didn’t talk to Thomas or show any interest in his stories.
Another reason why people on the reservation avoid Thomas-builds-the-fire and his stories is because they are afraid of his stories. I think they are afraid of the truth and some of his stories could even be about them, so they choose to avoid him and his stories. When Thomas-builds-the-fire went to trail a lot of people were shocked by what he said they didn’t know if he was telling the truth or if he was lying. That was the day when people became interested with his stories and wanted to hear what he was saying because finally he was telling serious stories, making confessions, and made them wonder the truth about it.
On the reservation all the Native American was basically drunks. They go through the hard times of life and being treated badly by Whites. Fathers left their children, only to have a mother in their life. They were living a hard life and all they had was basketball and dance. I believe a Native American born on the reservation would have been better off leaving.
Leaving the reservation had some good advantages. Sherman Alexie left and he had gotten a better education. With a better education come awards, accomplishments, and scholarships. A lot of kids who had graduated from the reservation had graduated because of attendance and some graduated not even being able to read. He had grown to become a better man for his family. He was also known as the most intelligent Indian, he became a hero. People respected you more. Another advantage of leaving the reservation would be better job opportunities, because on the reservation they were going through a recession. You are able to set high expectations for yourself determining your goals for life.
Although leaving the reservation has advantages, it also had it disadvantages. Leaving the reservation most likely you’ll be other race which can cause you to be an outcast and get bullied. Life can be tough but it is tougher on the reservation. A lot of people who left the reservation had gotten sick. If someone leaves the reservation and return they can sometime lose their identity of who they really are, not knowing what they want to do with their life. Once someone leaves the reservation who have left when the disease started can’t marry Urbans. These disadvantages make me believe leaving the reservation would be the best choice for any Native American.