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Transcript of Flight Patterns,
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
In the short story, "Flight Patterns," Sherman Alexie's main character, William, is a husband, father, businessman and Native American. William's character is projected as being anxious, fearful and paranoid. In this story, Alexie demonstrates the everyday effects of discrimination and how stereotyping is a common occurrence among all races.
A Visual Flight
The story of "Flight Patterns" portrays a realistic, modern plot. The story presents controversial themes that are part of current times, dealt with by characters that seem real. "Flight Patterns" is about two men whose lives are impacted by each other. Both William and Fekadu come from very different cultures, yet they have similar discriminatory experiences throughout their lives. Even though both men deny who they are when they first meet, both are forced to confront their own reality. During the ride to the airport, Fekadu impacts William in a positive way. At the beginning of the story, William is portrayed as uncaring and indifferent; however, as the story draws to an end, William, as a result of his encounter with Fekadu, is more compassionate. "Flight Patterns" is a thought-provoking story that deals with real life experiences.
"Flight Patterns" takes place one year after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The actual story itself, takes place in a taxicab driven by Fekadu, also a man of color. The destination of both men is the international airport in Seattle, Washington.
A glimpse of minority voices on the contemporary issue of what it is like to be a minority in America after 9/11. The plot of the story begins with the main character, William, waking up early in the morning and getting ready to catch a ride to the airport. During his cab ride to the airport, William encounters Fekadu, a dark skinned man. At first neither man speaks; however, eventually, the two men enter into a conversation that centers on skin color and what that means in a predominantly white society. At the end of the cab ride, the two men part, but as a result of their conversation, Fekadu has reinforced old insecurities in William.
William is a middle-aged Spokane Indian, businessman, father and husband. His work requires him to travel a great deal which often leaves him feeling guilty. In the story, William's life is one of obsession, constantly setting repetitive patterns. He is a compulsive workaholic even though it makes him sad when he has to leave his family.
Fekadu is the taxicab driver in "Flight Patterns," who tends to be a very complicated individual. Fekadu's wife and children continue to live in Ethiopia, his homeland. Holding a degree from Oxford, in his home country, he was a jet fighter pilot, but here in the United States, he is a taxicab driver. In this short story, Fekadu, through his irreverence for political correctness, enlightens William.
By: Kylie Adkins