In the essay Superman and Me an Indian boy named Sherman Alexie recalls how he advanced in reading above his age group. Sherman Alexie was being discriminated against by the other student in his class and his teachers. Due to him being Native American and living on a reservation his talents went unnoticed and because he was smart, he was bullied. Sherman Alexie chose to overcome the expectations of failing by putting in the work, he worked hard, and his plan was to become a pediatrician, but he had a difficult time in his anatomy class and that is when he decided to become a writer. Sherman Alexie like to visit schools and teach Native American children creative writing and the children are learning very fast. Some of the children are writing stories and poems of their own and they are also reading books by themselves. At a very young age Sherman Alexie became interested in reading. Sherman Alexie wrote about his mother and his siblings, but he also wrote a whole paragraph about his father and his fathers love of reading. This let’s the us the reader know that his father and his love for reading had an impact on Sherman Alexie’s life, even then he didn’t know it. Sherman Alexie had a saying when he was a child “We lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, hope, fear, and government surplus food”. These words give the readers a sense that maybe he had an unstable childhood and came from a dysfunctional home. He used reading to feel stable.
Reading superman comic books is how Sherman Alexie taught himself how to read and he writes about how he didn’t understand the narrations that went with the pictures, but he used his imagination to create a dialogue for the story. Sherman Alexia wrote about how Superman broke down doors and he used that as a metaphor for him teaching himself how to read (pg. 4).
Learning to read opened a new world to Sherman Alexie and it gives the reader the impression that Superman was more than a character, he was a role model. Sherman Alexie also writes about the low expectations his classmates and his teacher had for him, but he had a thirst for knowledge he chose to break down the door and overcome those expectations.
Even though writing was not what he originally planned to do with his life, he has become an author that has won awards for his work. Sherman Alexie gives back to the community by going to schools on reservations as much as possible and teaching the Native American children creative writing. He could of taken his knowledge and not look back, but he has chosen to show others that they can chose not to except low expectations, discrimination or failure. They too are capable to break down doors.