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Carlson1 Brandon Carlson Mr.

Newman English 101: Rhetoric October 30, 2013 Title The age old expressions regarding contradictions come into ones mind while reading this short story. As we get older we realize that the truths we believe internally are often proven a contradiction by what we witness or are told. With each day we receive new information, or a single event could change our view. Which then leads to the question of "what is our new truth?". The short story Flight Patterns by Sherman Alexie is about a man named William who constantly flies around the country and leaves his family due his occupation. The story follows William as he says goodbye to his family and gets into the cab that he is taking to the airport. The majority of the story is then about Williams conversation with his taxi driver Fekadu. Throughout the story Alexie gives contradictions that William and Fekadu have as characters and with other minor characters in the story. Alexie uses contradictions in Flight Patterns to draw attention to the problems of judging people based on their race and ethnic backgrounds and not their character. At the beginning of the story Alexie gives several simple contradictions that start to draw attention to broader contradictions that William has as a character and further emphasize the contradictions that come later in the story. Alexie uses contradictions in order to give his background information on William as a character. The first of this background information is that William has insomnia but refuses to take sleeping pills. Alexie then states the William was awake and not awake( which is also a contradiction. The next contradiction that is made is Williams fear of flying but not of terrorists but Alexie later states that However, no matter how much he tried to laugh his fear away, William always scanned airports and airplanes for little brown men who reeked of fundamentalism. This

Carlson2 contradicts the statement made earlier where Alexie states that William was not afraid of terrorists. As the story goes on it becomes more apparent that William has an Identity crisis. This is caused by the contradictions that he has within himself. Throughout the story William draws attention to the fact that people judge him based on the color of his skin, but at the same time constantly makes judgments based on what other people look like. When William first takes a good look at Fekadu he immediately makes a judgment based the scar that Fekadu has on his face. A black man with a violent history; William thought then immediately reprimanded himself for racially profiling the driver. (55) In this instance

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