The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Samuel Builds-the-Fire Character Analysis

Grandfather to Thomas, Samuel Builds-the-Fire is also in possession of “the gift of storytelling.” He works as a hotel maid in Spokane for many years before losing his job suddenly and without warning. On the day that he’s let go, he goes to a bar where he takes his first drink of alcohol, then drinks until he becomes massively drunk. Walking home from the bar, he falls down onto a set of train tracks and stays there, though he can hear the train’s whistle approaching.
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Samuel Builds-the-Fire Character Timeline in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The timeline below shows where the character Samuel Builds-the-Fire appears in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Train is an Order of Occurrence Designed to Lead to Some Result
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
On the morning of his birthday, Samuel Builds-the-Fire—grandfather to Thomas, and a visionary storyteller himself—dresses and readies for work. He is a... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Samuel heads to the Midway Tavern, where he knows “all the Indians drink in eight-hour shifts.”... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Samuel reveals that he never drank for fear it would “corrupt his stories,” which he used... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Samuel stays in the bar until closing time. Then he staggers through Spokane, drunk and alone,... (full context)