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Literary Analysis – Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie

In the book “Ten Little Indians.” by Sherman Alexie, there is a story called “Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church.” Frank Snake Church went through so much from losing his mom at the age of 18 because of cancer, from having a vision that his father was dead, then his father passing, and Frank losing his basketball career. Frank loved basketball so much that he sacrificed it and gave it up because his mom passed away. Before he has given up basketball it was his dream to become someone big. He loved basketball so much, and even his parents played it in his school. In “Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church” Frank used basketball to avoid the normal challenges, joys, and disappointments of everyday life.
It started off with a memory when Frank was 11 years old; he found out that his mother played basketball as well.They were at a picnic and Frank wanted to play but his father didn’t want to play with him. His father told him to play with his mother, but Frank wanted to play with someone that was good in basketball and his father said, “ Our dear Helen was a cannibal on the basketball court” (218), but Frank thought he was lying to him. He couldn’t believe that his mother played basketball as well. He loved his mother even more since that day. When his mother passed away of cancer he decided that he wanted to give up something valuable to him and bury it with his mother, and it was basketball that he buried. “ He left the ball at the park, helped bury his mother that afternoon, and had not played the game since.” (202) He has given something up that was so valuable to him, so he basically had lost two important things in his life in one day
His father passes and now he unburies basketball because he needed something to do. He wanted basketball to make him whole again so he started to play again. He played to honor his father, “He’d given up this game to honor his mother, and now he was reclaiming it to honor his father.” (204) He was happy to be playing again, but not that happy he may have been a little disappointed because every time he tried to make a basket he would miss, it had been a long time since he had played. His goal was to get back in shape and do everything that he used to do. Frank would have blasts playing basketball but not all the time. He would use basketball as a distraction from the world; it was where he found peace and where he would connect with his mom and dad.
He would play basketball as if his parents would come back from being dead. Frank was just taking things to another level and scaring others. Pastor noticed that he was acting strange and decided to talk to him; the conversation wasn’t going so great because Pastor started to call him names. The Preacher told him, “but you, sir, are an imposter; you are a doppelganger; you are a body snatcher; you are a pod person; you are Frank Snake Church’s evil and elderly twin is what you are.”(223) What the Preacher was trying to say is that Frank was being someone else or that he was trying to be someone that he is not.Preacher was saying mean things to Frank Snake Church and of course Frank was getting upset. He was hiding his grief while playing basketball. He was trying to be someone different. Frank was getting upset with Pastor and just wanted to beat him up but Frank did start to cry and was Pastor was just making it harder for him.
Frank Snake Church was a good man but he would use basketball as an excuse and would hide from reality. He believed that basketball would change his life and his feelings in life. We cannot hide from things in life especially if those things bring life, joy, or disappointment into our lives. Frank Snake Church went through a series of different emotions during this story but he managed to use basketball to “get away” from the things of this world. Playing basketball made him feel good about something’s even though he wasn’t so good at it anymore. We learn in life about things that distracts us and we sometimes use them as excuses to cover up patches in our life, but in reality we just have to keep going not matter what gets thrown to us in life.

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Literary Analysis – Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie. (2018, Oct 12). Retrieved from https://thepoetrytrust.org/literary-analysis-ten-little-indians-by-sherman-alexie-essay

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