The Reservation Blues Essay, Research Paper
The main characters of Reservation Blues were affected in different ways by having the choice to stay on the reservation or actually leaving the reservation. The reservation was a place where the Indians could feel at home. Also the reservation was a place that could feel like a closed box to the Indians. Each Coyote Springs band member had a different reason for wanting to leave or stay and he or she each was affected differently also. Many of the other Indians as well as the band members ponder the question of if the band should have stayed on the reservation of if they should have left.
There are many positive and negative things for the characters leaving the reservation. One of the positive aspects of leaving the reservation is that Coyote Springs was able to try and get past the going nowhere life that could happen if you stayed on the reservation. The main example of this were the fathers of Coyote Springs and how they were always drunk, gone, or made nothing out of their lives. Coyote Springs had seen too much of that and wanted out, they wanted to be famous. With being famous also comes money, something that is not very prominent on the reservation. Some of the negative things that happened were that the reservation looked down on the band to the point where they even wanted to remove the band. Also the competitive New York and even Seattle was very intimidating to Coyote Springs. It was a new world almost and the book illustrated many of the differences between the whites and Indians. The book showed that the whites could, given the chance, walk all over the Indians or use them such as with Betty and Veronica did.
There were also many positive and negative reasons for staying on the reservation. When anybody stays on the reservation, native as well as Coyote Springs
they have similar people around them. These similar people have the same past, the same understanding of their life, and they all have the reservation connection. Then with staying on the reservation the Indians are safe and protected from the outside world and it s harshness. The homeless Indian Victor encountered in Seattle was somewhat a small indication of what happened if an Indian went out into the world unprepared. Then if staying on the reservation Coyote Springs also had the chance of ending up just like their parents and not taking the chance of pursing their dream. Even though these two negative things could be potentially very bad, Coyote Springs had it in them to never fall low enough to where their parents had been.
Should Coyote Springs had left or stayed; I think these particular characters should have remained on the reservation because when the group was together, looking after, and feeding off each other they had a lot going for them. The band with confidence would never become the past that they all grew up with. This confidence was not easy to find out of the reservation in a competitive world, but when Coyote Springs first started playing in the reservation the natives loved them, came to the practices, and gave them the confidence. The band did not have to have huge popularity because with that comes many new consequences. The band could have just played on the Spokane Reservation and also the neighboring reservations. Once the band left the natives turned against them and the band turned to wanting to come back to the reservation famous and as heroes just to impress everybody. Coyote Springs was not doing it for each other anymore. The band already had the praise of the reservation when they were only the reservations.
When making a decision of leaving your homeland or staying you never know all the consequences of that decision or how to prepare for them. Coyote Springs seemed to be making a good decision to go out and try to make it big, they were a decent band. But, they did not know the tribe would turn against them, the hardness of trying to be a modern Indian when everybody expects the Indians to be like the ones in the movies, even some of the Indians themselves expect this. They did not know the magic of the guitar or the effects of living back on the reservation after they could not perform in New York. This experience and many others in life are mostly found out by trial and error and people learn from their mistakes. Coyote Springs was a good group of people, sometimes Victor and Junior a little bit crazy, but for the most part good people and they probably should had stayed on the reservation so as not to be thrown down in New York.