Sherman Alexie: Superman and Me
“I loved those books, but I also knew that love had only one purpose. I was trying to save my life” –S. Alexie. Faced with an alcoholic father, fears of being rejected, and instability, Sherman found his happiness in reading books. At an early age he watched as his father collected multiple books and literature he could get his hands on just so he could read. Alexie quickly adapted to what his father was doing and eventually started reading as well. “My father loved books, and since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well.”
Growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in eastern Washington State, Sherman felt as though the fellow Indians there where lazy didn’t have the ambition or motivation to be more than what the rest of society saw them as. Having one older brother, a deceased sister, two twin sisters and a adopted little brother, he knew that as an Indian descent they were expected to fail but he was determined not to live up to those expectations. “I refused to fail. I was smart. I was arrogant. I was lucky.” He read books, magazines, cereal boxes, auto repair- manuals, junk mail, and bulletin boards that were posted. At an early age Alexie began developing into an avid reader.
“Aloud, I pretend to read the words and say, “Superman is breaking down the door”, because he is breaking down the door, I assume he says” I am breaking down the door”, in this way, I learned to read”. Reading “Grapes of Wrath” in kindergarten really showed his progression. Alexie saw a paragraph as a “fence that held words”. That those words inside the paragraph worked together for a common purpose. He figured that every word has its own meaning but when you collaborate all those words together you get a story or a purpose.
Never taught that Indians wrote poetry, Alexie was surprised when he became a writer stating” I was going to be a pediatrician”. Seeing his father go through job after job, and...
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