The story, “Flight Pattern” written by Sherman Alexie portrayed how humanity always paint people the way they want them to be and targets groups to be prejudice. It does not matter who you are, where you are, what you are, it is a regular practice. The stereotypes, racism, sexism, and social expectations were introduced throughout the journey of the main character, William, “a little brown guy” in the story. The story took place a year after the horrific incident of “9-11”. Within this period, everyone was looking out for suspicious “little brown guys”.
William was a “bows-and-arrows Indian” (275) and a salesmen who “travelled so often, the Seattle-based flight attendants knew him by first name” (271).
Every time William was at the United Airline airport, “[he] always scanned the airports and airplanes for little brown guys who reeked of fundamentalism. ” (270).
This was because everyone was framing brown skinned people as potential terrorists. Although, William was a Red Indian, he was still profiled into the same category as a dangerous brown Taliban terrorist. Therefore, William had “been pulled over for pat-down searches about 75 percent of the time” (273).
This illustrates how people discriminate a group and assume they are all the same. In reality, not all people are identified as the stereotype of their origin. For instance, William is a Spokane Indian, salmon people. However, instead of the stereotype of being a typical lazy Indian collecting Government funding, William is a proud man who is passionate about his career. Not only is racism a major stereotype, but sexism is also significant throughout the story. Although racism is a major stereotype, sexism is rather significant throughout the story too. Behind William’s back, he had to carry a wife and daughter both financially and mentally.
Typical Californian More then three thousand miles from home, I am walking down the streets of a small town in up state New York. As I look around I notice several kids about my age, whom appear to be watching me from the corner. Suddenly as I turn to walk away I hear one of them speak... "Dude, are you from California? Do you surf?" This is one of the typical responses I have received throughout ...
Before having William’s daughter, Grace, his wife Marie was a corporate accountant. However, she left her job to become a full-time housewife for Grace. William is hard working man “who wanted his wife to stay at home and wait, wait, wait for him” (271).
Typically, most men are the backbone of the family while the wife stays home to nurture the children. On the other hand, women do not have the freedom to be whoever they want. Besides racism and sexism, social expectations and standards are also stereotypes in many ways. For instance, the stereotype of a taxi driver is a poor person who is living on welfare.
In addition, they are required to carry the luggage for their clients. When William “insisted on carrying his own bags into the hotel” (272), he was cursed by an elderly porter in Spain, because he has besieged the standard. When William caught a taxi to the United Airline, the taxi driver assumed William was a rich businessman from the good suit he wore and a house that is big and beautiful. Meanwhile, William presumed that Fekadu, is a miserable taxi driver living in poverty. In addition, he could not believe a single word of Fekadu’s story, since a graduate of Oxford should not be driving taxi.
This also concludes that the occupation of a person can also become a stereotype. When an airplane lands, there is a designated location where they must land. In the same way, life is formulated by the society as displayed in the title of the short story, “Flight Pattern”. Stereotypically, black are poor uneducated, criminals, white are intelligent and filthy rich, brown are dangerous terrorists, and yellow are smart doctors. It is unfortunate that our sociality is corrupted with filters of different stereotypes and discriminations. Thus, Alexie portrayed his thoughts on to this magnificent piece.