Answer: The stories that Thomas tells and his desire to be listened to allow Alexie to show that telling and listening to stories is an important way people shape and understand their lives.
“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” is a story by Sherman Alexie. Victor, a Native American living in a reservation, needs to go to Phoenix to claim his father’s body. He travels with Thomas Builds-the-Fire, a childhood acquaintance. Thomas is a storyteller that no one wants to listen to. However, Victor listens to him eventually, and through his stories we learn about the complexity of Indigenous identity and the way in which storytelling can help us shape and understand our lives.