The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me Article Analysis Essay

  • Category: Articles, Writers,
  • Words: 950 Pages: 4
  • Published: 14 January 2022
  • Copied: 143

The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me is a beautifully written article written by Sherman Alexie that follows the story of  his life and how he became to be an amazing poet and writer. Alexie starts this short autobiography off by talking about his earliest memories of learning how to read and how this event was the birth of his love for all things reading and writing. Born into a close-knit and loving family, Alexie was one of five siblings who were all literate and enjoyed studies, but not as much as he did. His father, who also enjoyed reading, introduced him to this hobby of reading and writing that would later become his passion and his devolution. Alexie talks about his struggles of growing up a Native American child, always taunted and picked on for his love of reading. This was something that was ucommen of his people because many Native American children in his time would go uneducated or discouraged from learning. Although Alexie liked to go against the stereotypes that were placed on him. He continued to read and read and read some more, growing his intelligence and passion for books. The continuous discouragement from his peers only encouraged him to prove his potential even more and show other Native American kids they could too. He talks about how into his adult years he traveled along the country and visited many Native American populated schools. The poet would share his love for reading and writing and even teach and encourage the children to follow in his footsteps. He goes on to talk about how he believes reading saved his life and how he wants to do the same by using it as a way to save other Native American children's lives too. 

If Alexie was arguing something in this article I believe he would be arguing that Native American students in reservations can be saved just by learning how to read. I believe he is also arguing that reading and learning how to read saved his own life. Alexie often talks about how learning how to read saved his life and there fore he will go on to teach children just like him how to read in hopes to save their lives as well. Towards the end of his article, he says, “I visit the schools as often as possible. The Indian kids crowd the classroom. Many are writing their own poems, short stories, and novels. They have read my books. They have read many other books. They look at me with bright eyes and arrogant wonder. They are trying to save their lives.” Seeing these children trying to help better their lives and be so eager and engaged in reading is what motivates Alexie to believe his theory, reading can save lives. Not only this but experiencing it himself and using reading as a way to pull himself out of what was the harsh and crude environments of living on a reservation and growing up as a minority Native American child pushes him even further to believe reading can save lives.

 I agree with Alexie’s theory that reading is helpful in making a better life for ones self. I also agree that learning how to read is very valuable and even a necessity to life. When I was in elementary school I was a very poor reader and it caused me to struggle a lot in school and I even failed a grade. This caused me to get picked on and taunted by other kids. Much like Alexie I didn't let this discouraged me, I continued to work hard and work on my reading skills and since then i’ve done amazing in school and now i'm getting invited to join honors programs and have a bright future ahead of me. Learning how to read and being good at reading can be one of the most valuable things to have in life but it can also change someones life for the better. Although some people might argue that reading is valuable but wont save someone’s life. I think a person who would argue that has never truly face any hardships like the Native American children faced everyday. They don't understand how the conditions in a reservation can make it impossible for these children to get a good eduction in life and even with an education these children still experienced disgrimination. So for these children the simple act of just learning how to read and write can be a step towards a great future and a chance to get of reservation living.

This argument sparks an important conversation that needs to be had. Native Americans still face many acts of disgrimanation today and I truly believe Alexie was a man ahead of his time. He went against stereotypes which was not a very popular thing to do in his time and he worked hard and earned great success. People today need to take acknowledgement of Alexie’s courage and imply it to their lives. Don't be afraid to do something because people around you are judging you or telling you that you cant do it. Instead, prove to those bullies that you can and you can do it better. Defy labels and be your own stereotype of yourself because you cant reach your full potential if you let others bring you down. This is exactly what Alexie did as a child, he refused to let what others thought and said of him dull his intelligence and he became one of the most successful Native American writers of his time.

Sherman Alexie as a child refused to accept the labels that had been placed on him and he surrounded himself with books and became a very brilliant writer and successful man. He used his successes to teach and encourage children just like him to read and write because he believed it would save their lives like it did his. He devoted his time to these children and was motivated by knowing he was doing good by these children and hopefully encouraging them to save their lives by following in his footsteps.


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