Indian Education Reading Responses
1. The overarching tone of this piece is shamefully miserable. Sherman Alexie conveys this by using negative diction, for example; Alexie begins his first grade excerpt by saying, “My hair was short and the U.S. Government glasses were horn-rimmed, ugly…” The author uses the word ‘ugly’ to indicate young Alexie lacks in self confidence and is ashamed of his appearance. Alexie continues on saying, “… in school the other Indian boys chased me from one corner of the playground to the other. They pushed me down, buried me in the snow until I couldn’t breathe, thought I’d never breathe again.” He was miserable since the day he started school, that’s sad. The phrase “couldn’t breathe, thought I’d never breathe” makes me feel hopeless and vulnerable all at once. As the school years goes by, nothing seems to change except Alexie no longer gets physically hurt. He still feels ashamed and dejected from his own tribe. He will always be a misfit.
2. Three examples of satire:
* Fifth Grade: satirizes young Indians access to drugs as an escape route from their misery. Uses imagery to show the beauty of drugs. There is also sarcasm at the very end, “Oh, do you remember those sweet, almost innocent choices that the Indian boys were forced to make?” Horatian satire.
* Sixth Grade: Satirizes the young Indians who lack in self confidence. He uses Caustic wit when he said, “Always throw the first punch.” An Epiphany to defend oneself. I believe it is horatian satire.
* Eight Grade: Satire that the anorexic and bulimic girls are no better than himself. Hyperbole is used to show both “grew skinny from self pity.” Juvenilia satire.
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