Good Gentrification Literature Review Example

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Identity, Literature, Society, People, Books, Culture, Ethnicity, Mattress

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/11/01

Identity has been a major topic of Sherman Alexie’s writings since his first book was published. Alexie explores identity trough culture, ethnicity, and lifestyle, at the same time emphasizing that identity is built rather from internal factors than external. In his War Dances he explored human psychology with the focus on self-identity and a place of an individual in the society. In Blasphemy he broadens this topic concentrating on identity as a whole and the role the society plays in its shaping. Moreover, Alexie tries to understand how the society perceives one’s identity and what factors affect this perception. This paper intends to outline the main ideas of Sherman Alexie related to this topic illustrating the discussion with his short story Gentrification from the book Blasphemy.
The story starts with an everyday problem – the narrator’s neighbors threw out an old mattress but the garbage collectors did not pick it up even after a few days. Alexie describes his neighborhood and its inhabitants. The matter of identity comes in the fourth paragraph: “They are people, not black people; and I am a person, not a white person. And that is how we relate to one another, as people” (Alexie 295). This quote illustrates that Alexie does not consider race or ethnicity as a factor that shapes identity and that it is the right way this matter should be treated.
However, Alexie’s hero finds himself treated differently, even though he did a good thing and basically helped his neighbors to get rid of the mattress. Neighbors judged him saying that they could take care of themselves and he did not have to do that. It is the ugly side of gentrification and influence of culture biases illustrated in this story.


Alexie, Sherman. Blasphemy. New York: Grove Press, 2012. Print.

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Good Gentrification Literature Review Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 01, 2020. Accessed May 28, 2022.

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