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.
Sherman Alexie writes the story “Indian Education” using a deadpan tone to build and connect the years of the narrator 's life together in an ironic way. Alexie is able to utilize irony through the use of separate, short sections within the story. The rapid presentation of events, simple thoughts, and poetic points made within the story enable the reader to make quick connections about the narrator’s life to draw more complex realizations. The art that Alexie uses to write this very short story is poetic in nature through the meaning and structure of his writing. By the fact that the reader can draw deeper conclusions about the narrator 's life from Alexie’s writing is evident that his writing is poetic.
When his second grade teacher calls him “indian, indian, indian,” Victor says, “Yes, I am. I am Indian. Indian, I am” (Alexei 173). The conversation portrays parallelism in that Victor’s repetition echoes the way his teacher repeats “Indian”. Alexei’s use of a capitalization change portrays Victor’s desire to identify as Indian while the white community tries to assimilate him.
Life is full of doors, some are open and some are closed. There comes a time when sealed doors need to be broken open so everyone can reach their maximum potential and goals in life, just like Sherman Alexie did in “Superman and Me.” An example of Sherman Alexie breaking down doors is one of his quotes from “Superman and Me,” “this might be an interesting story all by itself. A little Indian boy teaches himself to read at an early age and advances quickly. He reads Grapes of Wrath in kindergarten when other children are struggling through Dick and Jane. If he’d been anything an Indian boy living on the reservation he might have been called a prodigy. But he is an Indian boy living on the reservation and is simply an oddity.” Sherman Alexie
Since he was unable to read, all he could do was look at his father’s books and admire them. As a result, an epiphany occurred and he was able to clearly comprehend the meaning of a paragraph, even though he didn’t know the technical term “paragraph”. Alexie began to see his world as in relation to paragraphs. At the same time, he began looking at Superman comic books, which displayed pictures that described the actions that were written. He would describe what the figure was doing and “read” it as though those were the words that were printed.
In the essays, “Reading to Write” by Stephen King, “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, “Learning to Read” Malcolm X, and “Learning to Write” by Frederick Douglas have three things in common. In each essay Reading has contributed towards the authors life leading to benefit from learning to read, allowing them to leave a legacy behind. In each essay the authors has thought their self how unlike Frederick Douglass. For Stephen King, reading has done a lot for him. King stated, “Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones” (221).
Alexie, Sherman, “Superman and Me: The Joy of Reading and Writing.” Los Angeles Times, 19 April 1998. Sherman Alexie shared how his childhood of reading helped him become a better reader and a leader for others. He first read a Superman comic and then went on to bigger and better books. Alexie explains that in his Native American reservation it’s okay for children not to excel in school.
He talks about how a book can help you learn how to read, and learn the structure of a book. He saw life as an "item of paragraphs" because everything belong to a section that made up a story or meaning. Just like Alexie saw life as a paragraph and that everything needed to fit into a section, in contrast Barrientos did not fit into the category. She assimilated to the wrong category which caused her to have trouble coming back to her roots. She "wanted to call (herself) Latina ", but she knew she did not belong there anymore.
The novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian is not simply written. The author Sherman Alexie, uses several words like articulate, hormonal, and decrepit which displays that the novel could be read by people of all ages. This novel is wonderfully written so that people of every socioeconomic status can relate to real-world problems like poverty, racism, death and substance abuse. Alexie uses simple language to convey the thoughts that are actually inside people’s minds. For instance, in the first chapter of the book, the author introduces Arnold to the world (Alexie, 2007).
In his book the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie portrays a teenage boy, Arnold Spirit (junior) living in white man’s world, and he must struggle to overcome racism and stereotypes if he must achieve his dreams. In the book, Junior faces a myriad of misfortunes at his former school in ‘the rez’ (reservation), which occurs as he struggles to escape from racial and stereotypical expectations about Indians. For Junior he must weigh between accepting what is expected of him as an Indian or fight against those forces and proof his peers and teachers wrong. Therefore, from the time Junior is in school at reservation up to the time he decides to attend a neighboring school in Rearden, we see a teenager who is facing tough consequences for attempting to go against the racial stereotypes.
Reading "Superman and Me" gave me conflicting feelings. Of course, the tale of a young boy striving to succeed in and environment where he is nearly required to fail is thrilling, yet it really makes you think of the environment itself. He was a young Indian child living on a reservation; however, he recognized that he was an intelligent person. Others around him tried to quiet him because Indian children were supposed to be dumb. Sherman Alexie wanted more out of life.
In the seventh paragraph, 98% of Alexie’s sentences started with the word “I”. This emphasized all that he had done, everything he did to become a writer. It showed how persistent he was and how he had refused to give up. In most of these sentences the “I” was followed by “read”. This shows the extent of how much reading he did; how committed he was to reading.
In The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me by Sherman Alexie, Alexie states “A smart Indian is a dangerous person, widely feared and ridiculed by Indians and non-Indians alike” (Alexie 364). I would have to disagree with this statement. He is making it sound like just because he is a minority that received somewhat of an education, he should be feared by others. I believe that anyone who is smart and forceful in a community is dangerous because they have the willpower to go to any lengths to uphold their beliefs. On the other hand, I also believe that just because you are smart, you don’t necessarily have to be feared. I understand the Alexie is stating that Indian’s are tough, but this does not equate to being feared in a community.
Overcoming a challenge, not giving up, and not being afraid of change are a few themes demonstrated in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Perhaps the most prominent theme derived from the novel is defying the odds, or in other words rising above the expectations of others. Junior Spirit exemplifies this theme throughout the entirety of the book. As Junior is an Indian, he almost expects that he will never leave the reservation, become an alcoholic, and live in poverty like the other Indians on the reservation—only if he sits around and does not endeavor to change his fate. When Junior shares the backstory of his parents, he says that his mother and father came from “poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people, all the way back to the very first poor people” (11).
The documentary relates to the United States in the way of that the public school system is broken. Government and political officials have repeatedly promised to correct the public school system and have failed to deliver. Programs such as the no child left behind act and standardized tests have been created to correct this system. But these programs and tests actually hurt this system since they are based on a narrow curriculum not measuring an individual student 's skills and talents. Other issues which are mentioned in the documentary and affect our country are teachers unions and tenure. Teachers unions refuse to reward good teachers who actually aid our nation 's students so they are able to succeed. The tenure system legislated by the American Association of University Professors in 1900, keeps teachers who hinder the education and performance of students from being fired. Which leaves students to fail and these teachers with no repercussions. Such as in New York, between 2006 and 2011 only 32 out of 132,000 teachers were fired for any reason.