The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Victor’s Father Character Analysis

Victor’s father, who’s unnamed in the book, is an alcoholic and a complicated force throughout these stories. He drives much of the narrative, though he’s not always present—or alive. Alexie himself has claimed that the book is about “love and hate” between fathers and sons, and through our glimpses of Victor’s relationship with his father, we see a complicated bond evolve as it grows and changes over the years. After a devastating motorcycle accident in which he is hospitalized, Victor’s father tells Victor that he “ain’t interested in what’s real; [he’s] interested in how things should be.” Victor is mesmerized by his father’s stories, but perturbed by the volatile relationship his parents share; when his father leaves, it seems to be almost a relief. Victor at various turns idolizes and reviles his father, and all the love and sadness and failure he represents.

Victor’s Father Quotes in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven quotes below are all either spoken by Victor’s Father or refer to Victor’s Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven published in 2013.
Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play… Quotes

During the sixties, my father was the perfect hippie, since all the hippies were trying to be Indians.

Related Characters: Victor (speaker), Victor’s Father
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Quotes

These days, living alone in Spokane, I wish I lived closer to the river, to the falls where ghosts of salmon jump. I wish I could sleep. I put down my paper or book and turn off the lights, lie quietly in the dark. It may take hours, even years, for me to sleep again. There’s nothing surprising or disappointing in that. I know how all my dreams end anyway.

Related Characters: Victor (speaker), Victor’s Father
Related Symbols: Dreams and Visions
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

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Victor’s Father Character Timeline in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The timeline below shows where the character Victor’s Father appears in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Every Little Hurricane
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
...family’s HUD (department of Housing and Urban Development) issued house, while upstairs his mother and father host “the largest New Year’s Eve party in tribal history.” (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
...to fistfight one another. The music upstairs stops suddenly, frightening Victor. He can hear his father angrily ask what’s going on, and he can hear his mother reply that her brothers... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Victor remembers a metaphorical “storm” four years earlier when his father, unable to purchase Christmas gifts for the family, wept. “We’ve got each other,” Victor remembers... (full context)
Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock
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
Victor tells us that “during the sixties, [his] father was the perfect hippie, since all the hippies were trying to be Indians.” He describes... (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
Throughout Victor’s childhood, Victor says, Jimi Hendrix and his father “became drinking buddies.” Victor would put on the tape of “The Star-Spangled Banner” every time... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
In the wake of such nights, Victor’s father would tell him stories “as a means of apology,” including how he met Victor’s mother.... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Victor remembers how, one night in his adolescence, when driving home with his father, someone called into the radio with a request to hear Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The... (full context)
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Victor describes his vivid dreams of his father at Woodstock, but admits that “as much as [he] dream[s] about it, [he doesn’t] have... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...difficult one occurred on a trip to visit Jimi Hendrix’s grave. Another began after his father, against his mother’s will, bought a motorcycle, and then wrecked it, resulting in a two-month... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Victor recalls a dream he had, soon after his father left, of his father returning to their HUD house on his motorcycle. In the middle... (full context)
This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona
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
...his job working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and shortly thereafter learns that his father has died of a heart attack in Phoenix. Victor has not seen his father in... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Victor has no money at his disposal. He knows that his father has some money in a savings account, but, in the meantime, Victor needs to find... (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
After arriving at the airport in Phoenix, Victor and Thomas take a taxi to Victor’s father’s trailer. When they get there, Victor apologizes for hitting Thomas all those years ago, and... (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
There is not much in Victor’s father’s trailer worth keeping, since everything stinks, Victor says, of death. Thomas tells a story of... (full context)
Memory, Bearing Witness, Storytelling, and Imagination Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Victor is quiet, and then confesses to Thomas that his father never told him that story. Thomas tells Victor that his father, not wanting Thomas to... (full context)
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
Victor’s father’s ashes don’t quite fit in one box, so Victor divides them into two. Victor and... (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
...a bottle and broken dreams.” Desperate, he offers Thomas one of the boxes of his father’s ashes. (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
...Spokane Falls and scatter the ashes there. He describes a vision he has of Victor’s father “ris[ing] like a salmon, leap[ing] over the bridge, and find[ing] his way home.” Before Victor... (full context)
All I Wanted To Do Was Dance
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
Victor remembers being eight or nine years old and “fancydancing in the same outfit his father wore as a child. The feathers,” Victor says, “were genetic [and] the fringe was passed... (full context)