Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me

Sherman Alexie's father was an avid reader and this heavily influenced Sherman. He began to pick up books at a very early age and was a completely self taught reader. This in itself is very impressive, but even more so considering that he was Indian. Sherman mentions that a "smart Indian" is a dangerous person. Education is such a powerful thing. By simply reading, you're able to expand your overall knowledge significantly. This allows you to go beyond what you've been taught because you begin to learn about new things and concepts. This is influential especially in a person like Sherman.

He was not only feared by non - Indians, but also by people of his own kind. When you're ethnically different, and by this I mean not caucasian, you're expected to have a certain amount of knowledge. A very minimal amount of knowledge. Sherman was expected to be like any other Indian that struggled with school related matters. He was different though and being different can be a threat to many. Once you've proven to be smarter and hungry for knowledge, you're a force. If you lack resources and books, you can be kept under control without asking questions. By reading, Sherman was likely to want more than he was given because he knew what else was out there. A "smart Indian" is bound to question authority and likely to crave education.


  1. Hello Sarahi,

    I agree society has stigmas they associate with different ethnicities. Once a person breaks the stigmas placed on their ethnicity, they are viewed as different or possibly "dangerous". Alexie broke the social constraints placed on the Indian children by becoming educated and seeking knowledge.

    Thank you,

    Sarah Baker

  2. Sarah,

    Thank you for your comment. I often feel that other's expect certain things out of me because of my ethnicity. It's not a good feeling, but the only thing I can really do is simply ignore them. Race or ethnicity aside, I am foremost a human being. I can do anything that I put my mind to.

  3. As Alexie proved that knowledge does not depend on someone’s race or ethnicity, I also agree that everyone has got same amount of knowledge. Proper education helps people to break through the ignorant judgment of the society.


  4. Sarahi,
    Your right your race really has nothing to do with your knowledge. I truly think that many of us are smart but we chose to not think. You do good by putting aside judgement. I believe that you can do anything you put your mind to no matter what you are it only matters who you are.


  5. Sarahi,
    You make some very interesting points. I to found it so amazing how he was a self taught ready me I myself struggled for a long time to get to the correct reading level at a young age. I also like how you mention how by becoming educated you realize life has more to offer. If it wasn't for him learning to read he would have just been another person on the reservation but he took control of the situation and make the best of it.

  6. I never thought of the possibility of questioning authority! That was a good arrangement.