A Futuristic Look at American Indian Nationhood: Zits in Sherman Alexie’s Flight

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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A Futuristic Look at American Indian Nationhood: Zits in Sherman Alexie’s Flight

Shaimaa Alobaidi



The presentation examines how urbanization opens possibilities for American Indian characters like Zits in Alexie’s Flight to explore new definitions of their tribal self-identification. Zits travels in time and views the world from different bodies, ages, and races; his journeys end with different perspectives on the idea of nationhood as an American Indian. He is an example of Vine Deloria’s statement that “urban Indians have become the cutting edge of the new Indian nationalism” (248).
Flight is chosen because the moment Zits leaves the real world for time-traveling adventures is very critical; it is a moment of rage that ends in the mass murder of many Anglo-Americans. The paper focus on the turning point when he returns into his body with new opportunities towards his existence among the majority of Anglo-Americans who cannot help but see him American Indian minority in need of help and assistance.
Characters, such as Zits, attempt to outlive alienation, and Alexie gives new definitions of their ethnic nationhood. Futuristic does not mean the very far unpredictable future; it is rather a near potential future for teenagers of American Indians, like Zits, Arnold, and Coyote Springs- the band in Reservation Blues; all revolutionary personalities in Alexie’s works. They will be analyzed as Gerald Vizenor’s “postindian warriors” who have the ability to identify Indigenous nationalism in a post-colonial context.

keywords: alienation, self-identification, nationhood, urbanization, postindian.