Depiction of Sherman Alexie’s Personal Experience in His Novel Superman and Me

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 507 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

Words: 507|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

Superman and Me by Sherman Alexie is an autobiography that shows the personal experience of the author’s childhood as a vehicle to express the challenges faced by a Spokane Indian boy growing up in the reservations. The text shows the author's journey from learning to read and his experience growing up and overcoming the stereotypes faced by an Indian (Native American) in Washington. The key argument in the text is to inform the reader of the stereotype that Indians were unable to perform to Western standards. Therefore, were pushed to the margins of society to experience a specific type of poverty on the reservations. The standard of living was generally lower for those in the reservation, it was an enclosed world on the margins of society.

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An important point made by the author was his father attending Catholic School on purpose. This has a strong historical link. At the time his father would have attended school, Catholic Schools were a place of abuse for indigenous people especially Indians. Therefore, there was a lot of reluctance from Indians to go to Catholic School. However, the author’s father went on purpose. This shows the reader that the father valued education. This is an important point because due to father valuing education, this gave the author more of a push to gain an education and overcome the stereotype compared to other Indians in his class. This is why the author chooses not to conform to the stereotype inside the classroom like other Indian students but instead actively gaining an education even if it means not being accepted.

The author draws on his experience in Kindergarten and his ability to read “Grapes of Wrath” at a young age. The stigma against Indians is seen here because if he was a Western boy, he would have been called a genius. However, due to the author being an Indian boy he was not seen as a genius, instead, he was odd. This is because it was expected that Indians are unable to perform to Western standards. Throughout the text, the author uses Superman as a metaphor for overcoming this stereotype. Superman comics are usually a story of origin. Superman is a metaphor for the authors own origin story of growing up marginalized in society and overcoming the stereotype he faced. This is shown in the text when Superman is described as “breaking down the door” this represents the author breaking down the stereotype and showing that Indians can be smart too.

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Superman and Me succeed in its aim to inform the reader about the challenges faced by an Indian growing up. The author shows the reader his personal experience battling the stereotype and how he was able to overcome this and become a successful writer. However, the author also shows the reader that this stigma still exists today. As the author teaches young Indian children, he sees children who are just like him battling to overcome the stereotype. However, he also sees others conforming to the stereotype inside the classroom in order to fit in.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Depiction Of Sherman Alexie’s Personal Experience In His Novel Superman And Me. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Depiction Of Sherman Alexie’s Personal Experience In His Novel Superman And Me.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
Depiction Of Sherman Alexie’s Personal Experience In His Novel Superman And Me. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
Depiction Of Sherman Alexie’s Personal Experience In His Novel Superman And Me [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 May 14 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from:
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