Superman and Me

Topics: Sherman Alexie, Smoke Signals Pages: 2 (474 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Superman and Me: Rhetorical Devices
Native American writer, Sherman Alexie, in his essay, “Superman and Me”, (VERB) (SUBJECT). Alexie’s purpose is to tell the reader how he beat the system of being a typical typical ‘stupid Indian who accepted failure’. He went to school, taught himself how to read, and eventually left the reservation unlike the majority of Indians on the reservation. He adopts a sarcastic tone in order to motivate young Native American children not to fall into that stereotype. Sherman Alexie takes on the following strategies to convey his position: hyperboles, repetition, and metaphors.

Sherman Alexie applies hyperbole strategy. “Our house was filled with books. They were stacked in crazy piles in the bathroom, bedrooms, and living room.” Using his exaggerated speech it shows the reader how much Alexie read growing up. The stacked up books all over the house shows what a tremendous role books had on his life. “We lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, hope, fear, and government surplus food.” For Alexie growing up was not easy living on a reservation and desperately wanted to escape. This hyperbole emphasizes how hard life is for most Indian children, ultimately wanting all children to leave the reservation and not be a stereotypical Indian.

Sherman Alexie applies repetition strategy. “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. They carry neither pencil nor pen. They stare out the window. They refuse and resist.” When Alexie uses repetition here it is highly effective because he is comparing those who try and those who refuse. It reiterates the point that those who try will most likely end up out of the reservation while those who don't even come to class prepared with a pencil or pen will end up as the stereotypical Indian. He wants all children growing up on the reservation to start learning at a young age just like he...
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