Sherman Alexie's Passion For Reading Books

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“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark” (Victor Hugo). And just with a spark of reading, Sherman Alexie discovers a passion for reading books, in the end saving his life from the misery of living a poor middle-class life. Similarly, it frees Frederick Douglass from the unjust life of a slave, and leads him to pursue the flame and learn to read. And with the power of fire, William Stafford sets flame to books in his poem, books that no one bothers writing, books of ignorance, books that unfortunately do not exist to save lives. Reading makes a person realize her/his position in society and defy it. Additionally, it prompts people, alongside writing, to combat the ignorance of the world as well as…show more content…
He first comes about as “a little Indian boy [who] teaches himself to read at an early age and advances quickly” (Sherman Alexie). By looking at the pictures of a Superman comic book, he learns to read by inferring the meaning of the text. He progresses and “reads “Grapes of Wrath” in kindergarten,” (Sherman Alexie) a hyperbole demonstrating his advanced reading skills in comparison to other kids. However, as a Indian boy, he was “widely feared and ridiculed by Indians and non-Indians alike” (Sherman Alexie) and expected to be stupid. Through these words one can notice the serious discrimination he faces as a young boy, which stagnates other Indian boys like him. But his passion for reading, makes him realize what other Indians cannot, that they do not need to become what others expect from them: failures who need to show fear for non-indians. This makes him defy his position in society and pursue his dreams while fighting against the ignorance that comes with stereotypes. He reads everything he can, and manages to save his life from these stereotypes that hold prisoner Indian boys. This stands as an example of the importance reading can have on a person’s life, as the person becomes aware that they can fight the ignorance others want them to have. Nowadays, Alexie has become a successful writer who visits schools at Indian reservations to teach children to read and write in order to save them just as he saved himself, through the simple spark of reading a
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