Preston's Blog: Smoke Signals- Relationship of Victor and Thomas
Smoke Signals, released in , was the first widely distributed . Victor and Thomas are the only passengers who board the bus. He lets Thomas know how important his advice is because people will rob him blind if he is not watching. . The story shifts away from Victor and Thomas' relationship, and. Me and Victor, we were children born of flame and ash. to which he replies,"He didn't mean to Thomas"(Smoke Signals). . The lack of spiritual connection perpetuated by western culture leads to poisonous societal constructs. .. Tayo takes Betonies advice, to find the cattle, and while hunting them he. In the independent film Smoke Signals this is not the case. is pushed along and aided by the guidance of several female characters. This particular scene reminds me a little of the relationship between Laura Jorgenson and Suzy is another important character in helping Victor and Thomas on their.
I soon came to find out my initial judgment of her was off.
Digital Media Journey: Stereotypical Behaviors and Images in Smoke Signals
Suzy is another important character in helping Victor and Thomas on their journey although she also appears to be finding herself. The interesting thing is the film does a lot to openly convey and stress this message. She is pretty self-sufficient she has a job a hospital administrator and now she is truly all alone in the world since Arnold is dead. This leads me to believe that she is also someone looking to find herself. Smoke Signals is often billed as a coming of age movie about two young Indian men.
However, Suzy appears to be just as confused about where her life is going as Victor and Thomas. There is also another different between Suzy and the other female characters in the movie. In a few instances Suzy seems to have what Laura Mulvey describes as phallic power. Two main examples of Suzy displaying phallic power stick out. The first one is her house. Suzy is able to establish control over Victor and Thomas due to the fact that she is letting them stay in her home.
Suzy owning the house and letting Victor and Thomas stay there help her exert some sort of power over Victor. Builds-The-Fire is being himself and playing his critical role.
As the storyteller, Thomas is reflecting a theme observed in Native American culture. This is the passing down of Native history through oral stories. Although he plays this role, no one on the reservation will hear him. The stories Builds-The-Fire tells represents Native culture, however in this case it also provides healing.
Thomas Builds-The-Fire reveals stories that provide clarity, incite, and understanding which lead Victor and the reader on a journey to renewed relationships and self-identity. Thomas Builds-the-Fire is there to aide Victor during his time of need. The two men are drawn to each other. However, as observed through backstory, Victor is struggling for self-identity and loss which directly influence his feelings and behavior towards Builds-The-Fire.
This struggle causes a turning point in his relationships making broken connections into healed ones. He does not want to go on this journey with Thomas Builds-The-Fire because of what others may think. Like the readers first impression of Builds-The-Fire, Victors views him as lucid and full of old tales. Though Victor did not recognize it before, Thomas Builds-The-Fire becomes a major role throughout their journey.
Little be known to Victor, deciding to accept assistance from Thomas is going to help build the lost connection between not only he and his father, but his lost relationship with Thomas Builds-The-Fire as well. During the travel, Builds-The-Fire explores a series of different memories and flashbacks.
This format relates back to the Native American culture of oration. These memories serve to better explain the relationship and the history between the once close friends. The stories told describe the earlier times when they were close friends, happy and content.Smoke Signals (8/12) Movie CLIP - Exploring the Trailer (1998) HD
In this way, Builds-The-Fire is able to renew Victors relationship with his father by telling his stories. In the midst of remembering who he once was, Victor is understanding his own conflict with his self-identity and his role in the community. Through backstory, or rather storytelling, Victor finds his identity through Native American traditions. This leads me to believe that Thomas is scratching the surface and it makes Victor uncomfortable.
Perhaps Victor would have gone on like this but with the addition of Suzy and the information she has, these beliefs would it be correct to refer to them as constructs? She says that he was a good man and that he was like a father to her.
Smoke signals | Watch out for my review
Victor scoffs at this, but it bothers him. When she finally tells him about the fire, Victor cannot support his theory anymore. It is then obvious that his father left because he was fleeing from the guilt he felt at having caused the fire.
Victor is then forced to acknowledge the fact that his father did love and care for him. Victor then pulls out his knife and cuts his hair. Earlier in the movie, he had told Thomas that an "Indian man is nothing without his hair". Perhaps cutting his hair is symbolic of giving up his old notions and starting over.
Since he had built his entire self-concept around the feelings that he had toward his father, he is now left with nothing; he must, in a sense, start over. Victor does make one last attempt at assimilating the new information. Perhaps Victor realizes the truth in this statement. Or perhaps, he held on to basketball because it was something that he and his father shared.
Victor becomes very angry and retaliates by firing back at Thomas about how his dad was a drunk and an abuser. As they argue, he also says how his dad went back and saved Thomas, but not him. I believe that Victor is angry that his father at never coming back and "saving" him from the person he had become as a result of believing that his father was a bad man.
Victor realizes that Thomas knew his father better than he did, and perhaps that evokes feelings of sadness and regret because he wishes he would have seen it before it was too late. Victor does get "saved", however. The car accident that he and Thomas descend upon is symbolic of this.