Analysis Of Rhetorical Devices In Sherman Alexie’s Superman And Me
Superman and Me is a memoir written by Sherman Alexie in 1998. It’s about Sherman’s childhood and how reading a Superman comic book made an impact on his life. Sherman Alexie is a writer who comes from Native American culture and was not given a bright future. He believes not only reading books will help a student learn, it will save their lives.
Alexie uses pathos to the appeal the reader by called himself “little Indian boy” in his story who teaches himself how to read at an early age and learns quickly.” He does not consider himself a genius but he considers himself the little Indian boy who can read and was able to advance his reading skills because of his passion for books and literature. Alexie “read books late into the night” until he “could barely keep” his “eyes open. The relationship between Alexie and literature was so powerful that it was like paper and glue stuck to each other. His emotion tells the reader about how reading could influence the reader and Sherman Alexie is a victim of that influence.
Another rhetorical device Alexie uses is hyperbole. “Our house was filled with books. They were stacked in crazy piles in the bathroom, bedrooms and living rooms.” A house filled with thousands of books in every room would be a mad house. He is trying to say that he had so many books to read and is creating an image for the reader’s mind to visualize how many books he had read. This also shows how he grew up reading in his childhood life. The more books he was reading, he was saving his life by grabbing knowledge from reading texts.
Alexie masks himself as the unfortunate little Indian boy in his story to show his audience who he really is, which is an example of persona. He wants the audience to know unfortunate the Indian boy was living with the expectations to be un-sophisticated and un-social in school because of the environment he lived in. Throughout his story, he masks the boy into a child who is willing to learn by reading every book he held into his hands and read until he could barely keep his eyes open. The little Indian boy was saving himself from the destitute life he was living by educating himself from reading comic books into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into several paragraphs, and several paragraphs into a book containing more and more pages to read until his eyes were ready to be shut and be open again to read more.
This childhood memoir Superman and Me contains rhetorical devices such as pathos, hyperbole, and persona to connect to Sherman Alexie’s perspective about education. There are many children who cannot attend school because of the poor environment they live in that does not provide education for them. Environments like the ones that Alexie used to live in his childhood can influence those children into a path that will not provide them a future instead a future of more of unfortunate events to struggle in life. Reading can change a person’s life and also save their life. Alexie has shown the reader that he did not let his stereotype or the environment he lived in to affect his future. He shows that any Native American can succeed, not only Native American, but also many ethnicity in the world can also succeed like he did. Alexie will always give credit to the Superman comic book that helped him to teach himself how to read and from that day he began to save his life.
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