Alexie, Sherman, “Superman and Me: The Joy of Reading and Writing.” Los Angeles Times, 19
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.
A Superhero is not judged by the power he has,but only by the choices he makes. In the essay,”Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, the author uses an extended metaphor to explain his relationship with the fictional character Superman. Alexie uses many things in his life to compare himself to Superman. Although Alexie may not be seen as a hero with actual superpowers, he demonstrates the qualities of a superhero in different ways. Alexie is seen as someone that almost resembles an alien in the eyes of his society. Most of Alexie’s comparisons with himself and Superman are figurative. Sherman Alexie and Superman have much more similar qualities than one might realize.
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 Sherman’s quote from “Superman and Me” has a major impact on the story. When Alexie says, “I was strong. I was arrogant. I was lucky,” he is using simple sentences, repetition, and the rhetoric device of ethos. He has trying to break the intelligence barrier between Natives and non-Natives. He is expressing that books can change lives.
Superman and Alexie both save lives even though they have different methods. “I am trying to save our lives.” Sherman Alexie tries to save people’s lives with books and knowledge. “One failure and you forget all the good I’ve done.” Superman constantly saves lives by using his powers.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R.R. Martin). A reader can experience many new and different cultures by reading a variety of different books. The reader is also able to experience the lives of the all the contrasting characters and thus live a thousand lives unlike someone who never reads. In the selection, Superman and Me by Sherman Alexie, Alexie emphasizes that reading and writing can save people’s lives. Reading and writing can save lives in many ways, such as helping someone discover themselves, making someone smarter, and relieving stress.
Alexie states that he doesn’t remember much about what he read, but he remembers one important detail. He remembers when he learned to read. The panel that first taught him how to read was a scene of Superman breaking down a door. I believe this detail is important because Alexie is beating the odds, or breaking down a barrier, when he learns how to read so well. Because of his love of reading, Alexie wants to share the art of words with other Indian children. He wants to break down the barrier, or door, that makes them not want to read. Alexie wants more Indian children to beat the odds, so he tries to get through to them by breaking down their barriers. He is trying to save their lives just like Superman saved others’ lives and Alexie saved his own.
Did you know that the United States ranks 17th in education performance? That is a huge drop from 1980 when the United States was ranked 1st. Clearly, our education system has gone in a downward spiral and is struggling to keep up with other countries. The documentary, “Waiting for Superman” by David Guggenheim, and the article, “Idiot Nation” by Michael Moore, discuss the weaknesses in our education system. Although both authors offer compelling arguments, “Waiting for Superman” contained a better argument because of its abundance of rhetorical strategies, whereas “Idiot Nation” contained some logical fallacies.
A superhero can sometimes be a symbol of hope that can destroy all evil.Some examples of super heroes are Beowulf and Superman. Beowulf in the poem “Beowulf” is a hero who fights against a monster named Grendel to defend his people; he is considered the strongest warrior around. Superman on the other hand is considered the most powerful fictional superhero on planet earth, who fights against supervillains to defend human beings. Although Beowulf and Superman are both similar when it comes to heroic traits and that they both go on long dangerous journeys they differ in that they have different heroic deeds and show different timeless values, but somewhat similar universal
Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven portrays the hardships faced by Native Americans at the hands of the overpowering force of mainstream American culture. Alexie uses multiple perspectives in his book to convey the complexity of the situation on the reservation. However, his recurring themes such as survival, tradition, and underlying cultural ties connect the stories together as does the overarching message about the resilience of Native American people and their culture. With these consistent themes, the multiple perspectives found in his stories prove the validity of his cultural points due to their repetition. In his composite novel, Alexie reveals the resilience of Native American culture by breaking it down into a mathematical equation
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
The way we face difficult situations defines who we are as a person, sometimes these situations provide opportunities for us to be heros. According to Grant Wiggins’s definition of a hero, by the end of the novel he becomes a hero himself. He states, “A hero is someone who does something for other people. He does something that other men don’t and can't do. He is different from other men. He is above other men. No matter who those other men are, the hero, no matter who he is, is above them.” Grant becomes a hero by earning an education to become a teacher, undergoing mental and emotional changes, and counseling Jefferson to die with dignity.
The short autobiography titled Superman and Me written by Sherman Alexie really made me think about the way people grow up. Some people who grow up in a lower end family find ways to complain about it. Alexie was different though. He was poor and his family lived off of irregular paychecks and government surplus food. Alexie made the best of situations and I applaud that.
It is not a simple task to be a hero. In Joseph Campbell’s article What is a Hero? the many attributes and tasks one must perform in order to be a hero are discussed. In Daniel Woodrell’s novel Winter’s Bone, sixteen year old Ree Dolly is put to the test when she must prove her dad is dead in order for her family to remain in their house. In the story, she attempts to regain this house that is about to be taken from under her, faces the man she fears more than any other, and is able to find a solution to the dilemma she is presented with. Through this all, she places her family above herself, displaying true selflessness.