In Sherman Alexie’s “Happy Trails”, the author uses the first person narrative to narrate the intended story to the audience.

Happy Trails
In Sherman Alexie’s “Happy Trails”, the author uses the first person narrative to narrate the intended story to the audience. The author’s work outlines several themes when analyzed critically but of a particular concern is the team of crime and poverty. The center character named Hector is used to inform the audience about the two themes.
There are several forms of slavery. Lack of freedom to live is a form of slavery evidenced in the story. This is portrayed when we are told that, Hector is said to have been murdered and his body dumped. The writer says “Violent men die violently. Warriors get murdered”. His family buries an open and empty coffin to signify the traditional burial of Hector. The narrator also says “We had an open and empty”. This indicates that the Indians are enslaved by the whites. Their warriors and heroes are killed and their bodies dumped. The writer says “I wondered if it was possible for an Indian to die peacefully” (2). This also shows that Indians are murdered and they never die a normal death.
Slavery is also indicated when the writer says “Hector was only one degree removed from genocide during the Battle of Wounded Knee where unarmed old people, women, and children were massacred by the US armies From the story we learn that the writer’s aunts, uncles cousins and more so father also encountered the same kind of brutal death”(4). The writer is now the only Indian left behind to fight for the freedom to live. His father said to him “All my kids were accidents. But you’re the best accident. You’re a car wreck with eagle feathers.” this indicates that he has to fight back to free the Indians.
Crime is discussed in depth in the Sherman Alexie’s story. From the narrator’s description, the audience becomes informed that the narrator whose name is concealed has three brothers in prison. From the text, the narrator says, “I’ve got three cousins in prison, three living in poverty on our reservation, and a beautiful and distant cousin who married a Lakota and moved to …” (Sherman1). This quote does not tell the audience the kind of crime committed by the three cousins but considering the fact that they have been judged and imprisoned, it is enough evidence to confirm the presence of quite a number of crimes in the narrator’s village of residence.
Apart from that example of a crime, when the narrator’s uncle disappears from home there are quite a number of speculations concerning what might have caused the narrators death. One of the speculations is that there is a possibility that narrator’s uncle who is named Hector might have committed a crime out of his drinking and violent behaviors and then stoned to death. From the text, the narrator says, “And, drunk, Hector probably insulted somebody. Or admitted that he’d fucked somebody’s wife or girlfriend or daughter” (Sherman 2).From this text, the narrator suggests that Hector could have been killed due to a crime orchestrated.
The theme of crime seems to be so common in this story of Sherman. According to Aljazeera’s story of “My life after 44 Years in Prison” (Belhumeur 1), the story also propels crime by informing the audience of a man who has been imprisoned for over 44 years but is finally released.
In addition to the above-described theme, the theme of poverty is also discussed in this story. Poverty reduces people’s health-seeking behaviors which can increase fatalities caused by diseases such as cancer. From Sherman’s story, the narrator says, “I’ve got three cousins in prison, three living in poverty on our reservation… (1)”. This text which is extracted from the main text, the author informs the audience about poverty. The narrator informs the audience also that one of the narrator’s cousins told the narrator that as long as they lived in England, they will have dozens of babies contrary to home. This statement indicates that staying at home cannot give way to raising up many babies has one could have wished.
This poverty levels is not only evident in this story but also in Karl Lydersen’s “Homeless but employed: the Chicago restaurant workers living under a bridge” in which there are low court petitions by employees over wages when compared to the amount of work done. The author says “These employment agencies target vulnerable Latino workers and place them with restaurant employers who exploit them” (1). This overexploitation is the root cause of poverty.

Works Cited
Belhumeur, Jenna. “My Life after 44 Years in Prison” Aljazeera, Web,
Lydersen, Kari. “Homeless but employed: the Chicago restaurant workers living under a bridge”. The Guardian, 17 April 2016, Web, 11 December 2017,
Sherman, Alexie. “Happy Trails”. The New Yorker, 10 June 2016 Web, 11 December 2017.