The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me
“The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” Reading “The Joy of reading and Writing: Superman and Me,” gave me a different perspective of reading and writing. Sherman Alexie, who grew up on the Spokane Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, explains his life as an Indian boy, and how reading and writing helped his life to succeed. Alexie purposes is to discuss how he first learned how to read and write, his intelligence as a young Indian boy, and Alexie as an adult teaching creative writing to Indians children.
Alexie learned not only how to read but to love reading. He used his love of reading to propel himself through the school system, removing himself from the stereotypical to be dumb, quiet, poor, and to fail in life. Alexie begins his essay with a self confidence tone. Alexie, while growing in the Indian Reservation, at the age of three he learned how to read by using Superman comics. Alexie taught himself how to read the comic books by looking at the pictures and dialogue and pretending to say aloud what he thinks the story might be saying. I look at the narrative above the picture. I cannot read the words, but I assume it tells me that Superman is breaking down the door. Aloud, I pretend to read the words and say, Superman is breaking down the door” (14). Alexie learned quickly how to read while many other Indian kids struggled to read basic words and vocabulary. “He reads Grapes of Wrath in kindergarten when other children are struggling through Dick and Jane” (15). After Alexie established his self confidence tone, Alexie shows his determination tone.
Indian children were stereotypically supposed to fail in the classroom and most did. Indian boys who fail were accepted; those who did not were not accepted. Alexie was smart and he refused to fail, he never got intimidated, he always participated with the non-Indian peers in class. “I fought with my classmates on a daily basis. They wanted me to stay quiet when non-Indian teacher asked for answers, for volunteers, for help” (15). Alexie loved to read, he read everything he possible could, even if they were not books.
Alexie wanted to be educated and refused to fail. “I refused to fail. I was smart. I was arrogant. I was lucky” (15). Alexie’s tone at end of the essay, he was proud and surprised of himself because he became a writer. Becoming a writer, Alexie started to write books for children and he started to teach creative writing at Indian Schools. Alexie is proud because he has the opportunity to help other Indian kids to succeed in life. “These days, I write novels, short stories, and poems. I visit schools and teach creative writing to Indian kids” (15).
Most of the children in the Reservation read his books and write their own poems, and that makes Alexie proud of himself. But there are some of the children that who have already given up hope on themselves and sit in the back of the classroom and do not care anything for reading and writing. “Then there are the sullen and already defeated Indian kids who sit in the back rows and ignore me with theatrical precision” (16). Alexie is trying to break down their locked doors, and he is trying to save their lives by teaching them to read and write.
Alexie refused to fail, instead he read different kind of books and he became strong reader and a smart Indian. Alexie read everything and everywhere he went. This is probably one of the reasons Alexie never fail in school and his succeed life, because he loved to learn. He also committed to help other Indian in the Reservation by helping them to learn how to read and write. Alexie purpose was to try to save their lives. “I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky. I am trying to save our lives” (16).