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, and in search of the answer to it one may also turn to the short story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan.The way the characters of both the movie and the short story forgive their parents for painful experiences of their childhood is through forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance of their parents the way they are.Additionally, Victor gets the opportunity to learn about the way his father felt from Suzie, the girl who has witnessed Arnold’s final years.
Victor’s friend Thomas attempts to reveal other, more positive and humane sides of Arnold to his son embittered by Arnold’s betrayal of his family.
Thomas turns out to have understood Arnold’s tragedy much deeper than Arnold’s own son: “All I know is that when your father left your mother, he lost you too” ().
One of the most efficient rhetoric strategies employed in for showing the connections between the past and the present conflicts within Victor’s soul is the narrative technique of flashback.
Reminiscences of the fire scene serve both to show Arnold’s mistake of striking the fatal fire and to demonstrate his dedication to correcting his mistakes and saving the baby from that fire.
"Smoke Signals," written by Coeur D'Alene Sherman Alexie, directed by Cheyenne/Arapaho Chris Eyre, and starring American Indians, is structured as a picturesque "road movie." Based on Alexie's short story collection, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, depicts a journey from the Coeur D'Alene reservation in Idaho to Phoenix by two teenage Indians, Victor Joseph (Adam Beach) and Thomas Builds-the-Fire (Evan Adams).
Victor's father, Arnold (Gary Farmer) has just died and Victor is sent to return his ashes to the reservation.
The way Victor sees his father is quite limited: in his son’s perception Arnold is represented as a violent man mistreating his wife and son. The authoritarian way Jing-Mei’s mother treats her in choosing the ways her daughter should shape her future is the cause of the girl’s rebellion.
This image of his father is revealed by Victor in a conversation with his friend Thomas: “Did you know that my father was the one that set your parent’s house on fire? Having experienced a number of failures in becoming a prodigy, Jing-Mei does not receive any emotional support from her mother.
Thomas, whom Victor regards as something of a pest, pleads to be taken along.
Their relation to each other and to Victor's dead father supplies the central dramatic impulse for the film.