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The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me

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by

Nida Ahmed

on 2 March 2015

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Transcript of The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me

Topic, Thesis, & Type
Ethos/Logos/Pathos
Ethos
Conclusion & Title
The conclusion of this essay shows the reader how the author continues to face the same struggles that he did as a kid. As a student he would remind himself that he was smart, arrogant, and lucky. He exceeded the expectations made by the non- Indian teachers that Indian children are stupid and did not suppress his intelligence. Many years later, as a teacher he again has to remind himself of this after observing the students who refuse to learn due to the fact that they have been forced to believe that they are not capable of succeeding in school. This is an effective conclusion, because the author shows the audience that he is using his authority to make up for the mistakes of his past teacher's. He is using his passion of reading and writing and tries to inspire the younger generations, hoping to save not only his, but now the lives of those in the community as a whole.
Development
One way the author develops his argument by explaining how he taught himself how to read with a Superman comic book at an early age. For instance, he would look at the pictures and make out what was happening in them and then pretend to read by saying the action.
By: Nida and Saad
The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me
The topic of this essay is the enjoyment of reading. The essay is about a poor Spokane Indian boy who follows his father's footsteps in developing a love for books. As he grows older, he begins to read almost anything that has words on it, including all of the books his father owns and the new ones he would bring home. He reads out of joy but also desperation and learns that his love for books is his way of saving his life from the reality that he lives in.
Topic
Thesis
The thesis is "My father loved books, and since I love my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well." This is the thesis because the author states his position on the topic and afterwards presents his points that support the thesis.
Type
“The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” is a personal essay because the author writes about an experience he personally went through.
Another way the author develops his argument is by explaining how he would read anything with words and paragraphs and use any of the free time that he had to read books. For example, he would read in the few minutes he had after finishing an assignment in class or would read cereal boxes and bulletins posted at school, the clinic, the tribal offices, and at the post office.
The author further develops his argument of loving books by describing how he became a writer of novels, short stories, and poems, showing that he turns his passion into his career. He has now inspired the Indian children to also read and write novels, short stories and poems through his creative writing class.
"These days, I write novels, short stories, and poems. I visit schools and teach creative writing to Indian kids."

This is an example of ethos. This makes the author's essay trustworthy by establishing authority. The reader does not view the author as just a smart Indian boy who had an obsession with reading anymore but rather as someone who put their talent at work and became successful.
Logos
"I didn't have the vocabulary to say "paragraph", but I realized that a paragraph was a fence that held words. The words inside a paragraph worked together for a common purpose. They had some specific reason for being inside the same fence."

This is an example of logos. The author uses an analogy between a paragraph and a fence to explain his logic of understanding the purpose of a paragraph.
Pathos
"A little Indian boy teaches himself to read at an early age and advances quickly. He reads "Grapes of Wrath" in kindergarten when other children are struggling through "Dick and Jane". If he'd been anything but an Indian boy living on the reservation, he might have been called a prodigy. But he is an Indian boy living on the reservation and is simply an oddity."

This is an example of pathos. The author is telling an overview of his situation in third person, unlike the rest of the essay which is in first person point of view. This makes the reader feel sympathetic for him by comparing his life to someone that is not Indian. The author expresses the struggle and oppression Indian kids go through, showing that it takes hard work and dedication to be successful and to be treated as an equal.
Transitions
The transitions the author uses from point to point are very smooth and organized. Every paragraph branches off from the end of the previous paragraph.
Conclusion
Title
The title of the essay directly relates to what the essay is about: the authors enjoyment of reading and writing and where it all began. This is an appropriate title because it gives the reader an idea of what the topic of the essay is. It also makes the reader curious as to why superman is involved. Another reason why the title is appropriate is due to the fact that the author begins by explaining the relevance of superman to the essay.
Questions
1. What is the topic of this essay?

2. What type of essay is this?

3. How is superman relevant to the essay?

4. How does the author inspire younger generations?
Sherman Alexie
This is the thesis because the author states his opinion on the topic and afterword presents his points that support the thesis.
Full transcript