Sherman Alexie Essay

964 WordsNov 5, 20134 Pages
In the essay “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me,” Sherman Alexie credits learning to read a Superman comic book with saving his life. As an Indian boy growing up on a reservation in Spokane, Washington, where being uneducated was not the exception but the rule, Alexie was given few opportunities to succeed. The Superman comic book was the book he taught himself to read with, which in turn saved him from going down a path that lead to a the life of inferiority and failure. Learning to read gave him the confidence to break down a door that had previously prevented Indians from succeeding as well as the driving force that allowed him to persevere against the adversity he faced. The significance of Superman is carried on…show more content…
Superman is represented as a symbol of strength and courage, representing the heroic act of destroying barriers and overcoming adversity. In the first part of the essay he recounts his early childhood with a sense of ease; however, after walking the reader through the details of teaching himself to read his perspective changes to the third-person, it seems he becomes painfully aware of the reality of his story: “If he’d been anything but an Indian boy living on a reservation, he might have been called a prodigy. But he is an Indian boy living on the reservation and is simply an oddity. He grows into a man who speaks of his childhood in the third-person, as if it will somehow dull the pain and make him sound more modest about his talents.”(Alexie, 29) From that point on, Alexie writes with a tone of arrogance and a sense of urgency; it seems that approach is a metaphor for his determination to succeed. Just as Superman was breaking down a door in the first comic he read, Alexie
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