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Sherman Alexe's Superman And Me

Good Essays
In the essay “Superman and Me”, the author, Sherman Alexie recalls the time he first learned to read. He talks about his Indian culture and the perception of people like himself. He also discusses his childhood and the outcome of learning to read. The reoccurring theme of the essay is the love of reading. The author used various literacy devices to express the feelings of empowerment, happiness and the necessity that came with learning to read. Alexie uses repetition, metaphors and imagery to convey these feelings and support the main idea.
Alexie teaches himself to read by interpreting a Superman comic book. Although he cannot remember which exact comic book it was, the plot of the book, or the means by which he obtained the book, he does remember a specific panel that resonated to him (Alexie 582-583). Alexie writes about a panel where Superman is breaking a door down. “Because he is breaking down a door, I assume he says, “I am breaking down a door” (Alexie 584). He declares this as being the moment he learned to read. I imagine that learning to read would bring a sense of empowerment. In this quote, Superman breaking down the door not only represents empowerment but also the author breaking down the barriers of his culture and the mistaken belief that Indians are stupid.
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When Alexie realized what the purpose of a paragraph was, he felt delighted and experienced happiness. “I didn’t have the vocabulary to say “paragraph,” but I realized that a paragraph was a fence that held words…This knowledge delighted me” (Alexie 583). With learning the definition of the word “paragraph”, the author’s curiosity of reading increased. The author also began to see his family as paragraphs (Alexie 583). This demonstrates the nurturing in Alexie’s imagination. The logic of comparing everything to a single word allows readers to understand one of the ways in which the author taught himself to
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