The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven


Sherman Alexie

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven makes teaching easy.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven: Crazy Horse Dreams Summary & Analysis

At a fry bread stand at a powwow, Victor tries to get his order taken. A woman follows him “from open space to open space,” and tells him that no one will pay him attention “because [his] hair is too short.” Victor doesn’t respond, and walks away. He gives an old man money for gas to head over to the next powwow, but the woman finds him again. “Not much of a warrior,” she tells Victor; “You keep letting me sneak up on you.”
At a powwow, a community event, Victor vies for a piece of fry bread while ignoring an interested woman. She teases him about his hair—many men on Victor’s reservation wear their hair in braids—and tells him he falls short of her ideal of a “warrior.” Victor is not the man she is looking for, but she seeks him out anyway.
Community vs. Isolation Theme Icon
The woman takes Victor back to her Winnebago, where they banter with one another and have sex. “She was still waiting for Crazy Horse,” Victor says. He asks her why she has no scars on her body, and she asks him why he has so many. He tells her she’s “just another goddamned Indian,” and she replies that she is “the best kind of Indian, and [she’s] in bed with [her] father.” Victor laughs, and notes that “she [thinks] he [is] Crazy Horse.” Victor dresses, tells the woman she is “nothing,” and leaves. He watches from a distance as the lights in her Winnebago switch on and off, “wish[ing] he was Crazy Horse.”
Victor acknowledges that he cannot and will not live up to this woman’s desired ideal. Their mutual resentment builds—she resents Victor for not living up to her ideals, and he resents her for highlighting that fact—until Victor leaves, frustrated, but still “wishing” he could be what she wanted him to be. In the end, each has isolated themselves from the other.
Violence, Poverty, and Loss Theme Icon
Cultural Pain vs. Personal Pain Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon