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The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me

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According to the story “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me”, the author Sherman Alexie talks about how Superman comic book became a key part of how he learned how to read. He also talks about his childhood in third person which indicates his suffering in life and by doing so, he things that it might reduce his pain. Sherman Alexie grew up on Spokane Indian Reservation in eastern Washington. As other families in reservation, his family was also poor and “lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, hopes, fear, and government surplus food.” However, his father was one of few Native Americans who studied in Catholic school because he loved reading. Sherman Alexie wanted to be like his father, so he read just about anything he could find. Therefore, even though he was not good at reading he picked up the Superman comic and looks at the pictures, dialog boxes and tried to understand scenario. In the process of reading Alexie came to a clear understanding of the what is the “Paragraph.”

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According to him a paragraph is a group of sentences which worked together for common reason. Since then he started to see everything as a paragraph. For example, according to him Native American Reservation, Tribal school, his neighbor, his family and even each family member were also a paragraph. Alexie also mentioned that how difficult was for a Native American boy to prove himself that he was also as good as or sometimes better than other non-Native American boys. At that time Native American boys or girls were expected to stay quit, to be stupid and to fail in outside world by non-Indian people. However, Alexie denied to be stupid or to be fail in his life because he was very smart and intelligent boy who was able to read “Grapes of Wrath” in kindergarten. He was a boy who always looking for an opportunity to read just about anything anywhere. Because of his thirst of reading and writing, he writes novels, poems and short stories. Also, he teaches Native American kids in school and encourages them to read and write because he wants to save and make their life beautiful. The main idea of this reading is that you can succeed in your life if you have thirst of learning and determination to achieve your goal, even though the whole world expecting you to fail.

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