Superman and Me

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Superman and Me
Sherman Alexie's "Superman and Me" is a revealing look into Native American culture. He expresses how Native Americans feel they are perceived by the world. The story also delves into the subject of intellectual bigotry within the Native American culture. Growing up on a reservation himself, Alexie knows what it is like to be persecuted by the outside world as well as his own people. It's hard enough for a Native American to succeed without their own people weighing them down. He also sets out to teach the importance of reading and how it can enrich ones life. In the world we live in, Native Americans must struggle just to get on even footing with mainstream America.

"Superman and Me" is a short biographical story about the authors love of reading and how this love made him somewhat of an outcast in his school. Alexie grew up on a Spokane Indian reservation in Washington State. He inherited his love of reading from his father, an avid reader of many different types of books. Alexie fondly remembers, "My father loved books, and since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well" (148). Superman comics were his first encounter with reading. Alexie writes, "Because he is breaking down the door, I assume he says, "I am breaking down the door." One again, I pretend to read the words and say aloud, "I am breaking down the door." In this way, I learned to read" (148). Though he was only three when he first picked up a comic, he was able to imagine what Superman and other characters were saying by looking at the illustrations. Reading is a tool one can use to succeed in life. Like it or not, the importance of a good education cannot be stressed enough. To Alexie, "reading" is more than just the reading of words. Reading is a way to open up the way one sees the world.

At this point in the story, Alexie chooses to change the stories focus. He explains the trouble a person like him has on a reservation,...
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