Literary Analysis Of Sherman Alexie's Superman And Me

Author, Sherman Alexie, in his narrative essay, “Superman and Me,” discusses how literature played a huge role in his life growing up as an Indian boy, and the power it wields in life. Alexie’s purpose is to force his audience to understand his view of inequality. He adopts an emotional and analytic tone in order to translate to his audience of society as a whole his beliefs surrounding inequality and the power of reading and writing.
Alexie starts his introduction paragraph in his narrative essay with an appeal to ethos along with pathos through the description of how he and his family grew up and lived on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He describes how his family “were poor by most standards,” but how they were normally better off than
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By creating that type of character, Alexie therefore can make a better connection with his audience of Indian youth, because they most likely had a similar upbringing, and have a similar attitude. This type of attitude can also appeal to Alexie’s secondary audience (society as a whole), because people would be more apt to listen to Alexie’s argument if he did not come across as pretentious. An appeal to pathos is also achieved through Alexie’s mention of an uneven childhood that was often filled with doubts if they could support themselves since it makes the audience feel sympathy for his situation. Alexie uses this appeal to pathos in order to strengthen his appeal to ethos, and to gain his audiences’ sympathy and attention. Through these two appeals, Alexie is able to make a connection between his family’s situation and the humanities. By including that his family was “poor by most standards” but “middle class by reservation standards,”it refers to economics. This draws a connection to the humanities because Alexie is speaking about the sociology of his family and the reservation by stating how life as …show more content…
When Alexie chose to include the detail of how his father was “one of the few Indians who went to Catholic school on purpose,” it raises the question that if his father’s passion for reading and learning was uncommon, how much was literature valued on the reservation? It is evident through this unpromising detail that literacy on the reservation was not valued. Alexie’s father was one of the few on the reservation who realised he must leave the reservation in order to succeed in life. His father had an obsession with books that he passed along to Alexie through his incorporation of literature in everyday life. Alexie chose to include this in order to convey how reading was non-discriminatory and was an escape from pain. His audience will therefore be able to comprehend how the pain Alexie and his father felt from the inequality they faced was so severe that they felt desperate for an escape from it, and that literature was their salvation. Towards the end of the paragraph, Alexie makes an appeal to pathos through the discussion about his father. He is able to create an admirable, nostalgic tone when he writes, “since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well.” Alexie’s use of a devoted tone establishes an appeal to pathos that creates a warm, pleasant feeling in his readers, and

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