Sherman Alexie V. Frederick Douglass

Topics: Sherman Alexie, Slavery in the United States, Abolitionism Pages: 3 (1279 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Compare and Contrast Essay

Frederick Douglass V. Sherman Alexie

As a young child, we are given certain opportunities and guidance to expand our knowledge right off the bat when it comes to reading and writing. Going to school to get an education is what every parent aspires their child to do. Parents want the best for their children, to be accepted and to learn to their fullest extent just like every other child their age. However, there are many children and families who are not as privileged when it comes to receiving these certain opportunities. I ask myself a simple question: is education really taken for granted as if it is just a given and not a privilege? It seems that these days, going to school and learning is just expected. Nobody takes the time to realize how privileged they are to have an education, where they can learn to express themselves creatively and form opinions when thinking for themselves without others affecting you. Looking at two essays, “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and me” by Sherman Alexie, and “Learning to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass, comparisons between the two are greatly visible. Both of these stories take an in depth look at these two young men’s lives, as we focus on what these stories are trying to tell, and what message(s) are trying to get across. Not only do these two authors share similarities in upbringing, but they also share the same determination when it comes to educating themselves on their own and proving to others that ignorance truly is bliss.

Born and raised on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, Sherman Alexie was truly a remarkable boy. Coming from what he considered to be a poor family “by most standards”, Alexie claims that him and his family lived “on a combination of irregular paychecks, hope, fear and government surplus food” (Alexie pg.16). At the young age of three, Alexie taught himself how to read with a Superman comic book. Where Alexie...
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